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Full text of "Brown's bookstall. no. 1-77"

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7 



THE LIBRARY 
UNIVERSITY OF GUELPH 




No. 37. 



September, i< 



Price One Penny. 




HERE WE ARE AGAIN ! 

the time-honoured 
friend of our youth 
used to remark when 
he entered the arena ; 
and after the lapse of 
nearly three years it 
gives us great pleasure 
to again make our 
bow to our readers. 
It feels quite like 
meeting one's old 
friends after a pro- 
longed absence, and 
let us hope that the pleasure is to some 
extent reciprocal. 

Our former series met with such a friendly 
reception from both the gentle reader and the 
critical contemporary, and so many, like 
Oliver Twist, asked for more, that we felt 
constrained to occupy once again the editorial 
chair — a chair which is often as uncomfort- 
able as a dentist's. 

It will be our endeavour in this new issue 
to make it as interesting as the old one, and 
to that end we have enlisted the pens of 
several well-known ready-writers, some 
who have already appeared in our pages, 
and others who are new to us and our readers ; 
and with their assistance we expect to strike 
some rich veins of interesting local reminis- 
cence. We consider ourselves particularly 
fortunate in getting these articles, and are 
much indebted to our friends for them. The 
pleasure they give our readers is their only 



reward, their labour being a labour of love — 
the only people who make money through 
our publication being those who advertise 
in our pages. 

In this number we give the first of a series 
of articles on the Black and White Artists of 
the day. ■ Being nothing if not patriotic, we 
begin with a Scotch artist, Mr. Wm. Ralston 
of Glasgow, who has a Scotch humour all his 
own. What would we not give for a copy of 
the "Tommiebeg Shootings" illustrated by 
him ! Through the kindness of Mr. Ralston, 
we are able to give a reproduction of an 
original sketch by him, and trust that his 
brother artists will also assist us in similarly 
adding, as only they themselves can, to the 
interest of this series of articles. 

Curiously apropos is the fact that "A Tour 
in the North," by Mr. Ralston, which has 
been out of print for some time, is just newly 
reprinted, and no one who appreciates real 
Scotch humour should refrain from spending 
the necessary shilling. 

Our best thanks are due to Messrs. Cassell 
& Coy. for the loan of the portrait block of 
Mr. Ralston. It is taken from "The History 
of Punch " published by them, and to which 
reference is made in the article on Mr. Ralston. 

To our aid has also come the " gay and 
irresponsible St. Jack," who has broken out 
in a fresh place — poetry this time. Formerly 
he gave us humour, now he gives us sentiment. 



Brown's Book-Stall. 




G. Mitchell Moir, 



AUSIC SELLER, 



Has a most Choice Selection of_ 



American Organs 
and pianos. 



82 Union Street, Aberdeen. 



WALTER SIAFSON, 

(J)funtBer t l&aefttttx, Qt3ras0founber t 

HYDRAULIC, HEATING, VENTILATING, AND 
SANITARY ENGINEER, 

ELECTRIC LIGHT, TELEPHONE, & BELL FITTER, 

Shouu l^ooms : 446 Union Street. 



INSPECTION INVITED. 
Works : 2 ROSE STREET. 



Telephone 707. 



Standard and Table Oil Lamps. Finest Oils and Cottons. 

INCANDESCENT BURNERS, SHADES, AND FITTINGS. 

Every Description of Plumber, Gas, and Electric Fitting carried out by Experienced 

Workmen in Town and Country. Estimates Furnished. 

PERSONAL ATTENTION TO ALL ORDERS. 



Brown's Book-Stall. 



The gossipy series of articles beginning 
with the early history of the firm of " Brown," 
and rambling over things ancient and modern 
pertaining to Bon-Accord, which appeared in 
our pages, have been, as you are doubtless 
aware, gathered together, partly re-written and 
enlarged, and published in book form under 
the title of "Aberdeen Awa'." This book, 
which met with a most favourable reception 
from both Press and Public, is noticed in 
very high terms by Dr. Robertson Nicol in 
the British Weekly of August 26th. He is 
a judge, 

" AND A GOOD JUDGE TOO," 

and he says — 

"Aberdeen has many good booksellers' shops, and 
many booksellers who are also bookmen. Surely the 
prince of these must be Mr. George Walker, whose 
volume, 'Aberdeen Awa',' I purchased, and 

READ WITH POSITIVE RAPTURE. 

There must be many of my readers who would find 
such a volume a rich feast. Let them write to Messrs. 
A. Brown & Co., Union Street, Aberdeen, enclosing 
five shillings. They will never regret following this 
advice. 

Mr. George Walker must be a very prince among 
bookmen. His knowledge and reading are truly 
marvellous ; he touches no subject that he does not 
illustrate and adorn. His stores of memory are 
peculiarly rich, and it is obvious that he has here 
given us a mere fraction of his wealth. He is a 
master of the literary art, pursuing his end with the 
utmost tenacity, and yet resting his reader with con- 
tinual and bewitching digressions. He has a heart 
full of charity ; failings are dealt with lightly, all 
parties get more than justice, and I have not even 
come across a growl at the hateful discount system. 
The book leaves one with a strong desire for more." 

We hope to be able to satisfy this laudable 
desire, to some extent, in our coming 
numbers. 



IN THE THIRTIES. 

3 HAD lately to record my vote in con- 
nection with the Aberdeen School 
Board election, and as I entered and 
looked around at the palatial building devoted 
to teaching, I could not help remembering 
how changed are the circumstances and sur- 
roundings of school life of sixty years ago. 
Instead of the spacious lobbies, magnificent 



staircases, and well-lighted class-rooms, I went 
to my first school down two or three steps, 
entering a narrow doorway, and into a low- 
roofed room, with one small window to the 
back, and another to the front, and an 
earthen floor. Here I was seated on a form 
of a most primitive make, a paling bauk with 
four pieces of wood inserted as legs. Before 
me was a small rude desk, from which hung 
an ink bottle, fastened with a string, and at 
the desk sat those who were far enough 
advanced to be in writing. 

The dominie was not a tall man, yet when 
he stood erect his head almost touched the 
roof, and here his twenty or thirty pupils 
from 4 to 14 engaged in their studies. Our 
class books were a twopenny bookie, with 
the Alphabet and some simple lessons. The 
thing I remember best about it was the 
frequency with which I lost it going and 
coming to school. When the loss was re- 
ported, it was accompanied by a few 
" pandies " to assist my memory and make 
me more careful in the future. The Proverbs 
was another class-book for the higher classes, 
appended to which was the Shorter 
Catechism, to be committed to memory, 
including the Grace before and after meat. 
How many loud howlings have I heard over 
the incorrect repetition of Effectual Calling, 
and as for Justification, Adoption, and Sancti- 
fication, there was a terror unspeakable in 
trying to master them, and a decided earnest 
wish on the part of the learner that they had 
never been formulated. The explanations 
given were uninteresting and uninstructive, 
conveying no meaning nor conception of 
what was meant, or to what they referred — and 
this was the religious teaching in the school. 

Instead of the quiet class-rooms now 
enjoyed, we had the one room partially 
underground, and in the same floor directly 
opposite, were two or three hand-loom 
weavers busily plying their shuttles all day 
long, making a sharp clicking noise, which 
was anything but helpful to the youngsters in 
their studies " ben the hoose." 

I was transferred to another school where 
the teaching was more advanced. This 
was a room in the Town House, and 



Brown's Book-Stall. 




Kmncheon, ^Stea, and 
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Conducted after the style of Leading Establishments in 
EDINBURGH and GLASGOW. 

SOUP, FISH, MEAT, SWEETS. 

CHARGES MODERATE. 

TEA ROOM, Conducted as formerly, 
223 UNION STREET. 



WEDDING CAKES, 

Style, Quality, and Flavour Unsurpassed. Photos and Prices 
sent on application. 

AFTERNOON TEA OAKES 

A SPECIALTY. 

Novelties in French and German Cakes, 

ENDLESS VARIETY. 



KENNAWAY, 

BAKER AND CONFECTIONER, 
77 WAVERLEY PLAOE. 



<£>ufc0 ffower (Roofe* 



ROMAN HYACINTHS. HYACINTHS. TULIPS. 

CROCUS. DAFFODILS. IRIS. FREESIAS. 

SCILLAS. SNOWDROPS. SACRED LILIES. 

ANEMONES. RANUNCULUS. LILIUMS. 

ALL WELL MATURED BULBS. 



CARDNO & DARLING, 

Corn (Exehange QjJuildings, cSberdeen. 



Brown's Book-Stall. 



which, I understand, now forms a branch 
of the Aberdeen Public Library. Here 
old Bodsie M'Kenzie used to dispense 
learning and sweets to the youngsters, who, 
if they could do their spelling or repeat their 
Catechism, received as a reward a quarter of 
a lozenge, or a microscopic bit of black 
sugar. Thus he took us by guile, and the 
prospect of a bite from the end of a thick 
stick of black sugar was a strong inducement 
to unwearied and unceasing effort in doing 
our tasks correctly. He was a kindly old 
man, and although not largely equipped for 
teaching, yet he did very well, and had a few 
scholars, some of whom afterwards occupied 
positions of trust and respectability in the 
burgh and neighbouring city. I began to 
have a liking for books, especially those with 
pictures and in a small shop not far from the 
University I would stand and look with 
admiring gaze to the string of booklets hung 
along the windows, in which sweeties, rock, 
toys, and other nick-nacks w T ere displayed, 
but how different the dressing for attraction 
from that in plate glass fronts now all but 
universal. The entrance to the "shoppie" 
was by a door in two halves, and when you 
lifted the snib and pushed open the door a 
bell rang which brought Johnnie from his 
back room to attend his customers. If a stalk 
of rock were purchased, or a "gibbrie mannie," 
the little shop was filled, and on being 
supplied the spoil was divided among the 
young buyers. I bought the " History of King 
Pippin " here, and well do I remember with 
what joy I carried it home. It was a 3 2 mo 
12 page booklet, with woodcuts, price one 
halfpenny, one of a series which included 
"The House that Jack Built," "Goody Two 
Shoes," " Jack and the Bean Stalk," the kind 
of literature then published for the young, 
and which I think is very much to be pre- 
ferred to the hideous pictures and trashy 
stories of " Chips " and " Cuts " which is so 
much run after by the youth of the present 
time. "King Pippin" was a book I read with 
great avidity, and it had a very direct influence 
upon me at the time, for I looked upon King 
Pippin as one whom I should imitate, and 
whose conduct I would try to follow. 
The illustrations, though rude woodcuts, 



give an additional charm to the young 
reader, rivetting on the memory the 
more stirring passages of the story. There 
were other books of a higher style, such as 
the "Life of Sir William Wallace," "King 
Robert the Bruce," illustrated with coloured 
woodcuts, price twopence. I think they 
were published by James Lumsden & Son, 
Glasgow. These I perused with great in- 
terest, weeping over the sad fate of Wallace, 
and rejoicing at the victories of Bruce. This 
was my first introduction to History, and it 
left on me a devout adoration of Patriotism, 
and a strong admiration for Liberty. I had 
all my little books collected, numbered, and 
catalogued as I had seen in the Sabbath 
School Library, and this reminds me of one, 
whose memory I shall ever revere, who 
Sunday after Sunday came to a school held 
in a back shed, for it was little else, and 
along with a few others, taught a number of 
boys and girls week after week, walking a 
considerable distance to do so. 

George Hunter's form is now before me, 
and I remember distinctly his kindliness and 
earnestness, which will ever live in my 
memory as that of a good man who, at a 
time when 1 suppose there was no other 
Sabbath School within the large parish, 
laboured with an earnestness of purpose in 
teaching to children the simple truths of 
Christianity. He gave awards to the scholars ; 
took them all to a soiree in Blackfriar Street 
Chapel about the New-Year, where, with tea 
and buns, an orange, hymns, and addresses, a 
most delightful and long-looked for evening- 
was spent under the genial chairmanship of 
the minister of the chapel, Rev. John 
Kennedy — whose skill as a preacher and 
speaker to children I have never seen 
excelled. Many of those who taught in 
Mr. Hunter's schools went to the mission 
field, and, along with others, became useful 
in their day and generation. One of my 
teachers there has been a Magistrate of the 
City, and a former proprietor of the Book- 
Stall — who yet lives to wield a graceful and 
fluent pen in his genial reminiscences of the 
past in our city. 



Brown's Book-Stall. 



Established 1830. 



W. & J. Walker, 

Umbrella 
manufacturers, 

98 Union Street, 
&bcrtieen. 



HOUSEHOLD LlflEflS. 
P. BEVERIDGE, 

Invites Inspectiim of his Stock of 

Table Linen, Cotton & Linen Sheetings, 

Towels and Towellings, Blankets, 

Flannels, Eider-Down Quilts, 

ALSO— 

Caches and Children's "Under clothing 



Marriage and Foreign Napery and Outfitting 

Orders Marked and Delivered 

Ready for Use. 



39 & 41 ST. NICHOLAS STREET, 
ABERDEEN. 

Established 1841. Telephone No. 381. 



Established over 50 Years. 

William Gay & Sons, 

5imeraf (Unfcerfaftere, 
432 UNION STREET 

AND 

215 GEORGE STREET. 
Works— Union Wynd. 



FUNERALS Conducted in Town and Country at 

Moderate Charge-. 

Largest Stock of Funeral Requisites in the North 

of Scotland. 

Telegkams— " Cay, Abekdeen." 



Compilers and Publishers of 

"3n (memoriatn," 

An Annual Obituary of Aberdeen and Vicinity, 

with Biographical Notes and Portraits of 

Prominent Citizens. 

" Full of local interest." — Aberdeen Journal. 

Price (Crown 8vo), SIXPENCE. 

Back Volumes, NINEPENCE. 



I 



BON-ACCORD HOTEL 

AND RESTAURANT, 
17 and 19 MARKET STREET, 

ABERDEEN. 



Tourists, Commercial Gentlemen, and Residenters 
will find this the best appointed Restaurant in Town 
in which to Lunch, Dine, take Tea or Supper. 
Largest Public Dining Hall in Town. Ladies' 
Private Dining Room. 

Magnificent separate Suites of Rooms for Dinners, 
Marriages, Assemblies, etc. 
Wines and Liquors of the Finest Quality. 
JOHN B. MOLLISON, Proprietor. 



Marriages, Garden Parties, 
Homes," Etc., 



At 



Contracted for in Town and Country, and personally 
conducted. 



cw&«\^ 










From an unpublished drawing by Mr. W. Ralston. 



Brown's Book-Stall. 




Six Etchings 

of Local Scenery . 

ONE SHILLING. 

Or in Cloth Gilt, f/e. 



A. BROWN & CO., 

83 and 85 Union Street, Aberdeen. 
Crown 8vo, 400 p.p., price 5/- net. Postage 4d. 

ABERDEEN AWA' 

Sketches of its Men, Manners, and Customs. 

By GEORGE WALKER. 

With Portraits and Illustrations* 



The volume contains nearly double the matter which 
appeared in Brown's Book-Stall." 

Aberdeen: A. BROWN & CO. 

Edinburgh : JOHN MENZIES &» CO. 

And all Booksellers. 



Dortable Book Shelves, 

Which can be easily taken to pieces and 
packed in small compass. 



2/6 



The "Student's " Book Shelf. Polished 
Light Oak Colour. Size, 16 inches 
high by 20 inches long, with 2 Shelves. 



The " Cottage" Book Shelf, with 3 Shelves. 
22 inches by 22 inches. Polished Dark 
Oak Colour. 



5A 



10/6 



The " College " Book Shelf, with 
3 Shelves. 28^ by 25 inches. 
Polished Dark Oak Colour. 



The "Referee" Book Shelf, with 
4 Shelves. 39 by 30 inches. 
Polished Dark Oak Colour. 



18/6 



A. BROWN & CO., 

83 and 85 Union Street, Aberdeen. 



ftCLUB^ELLDM 



flOTE fAPER 
A BROWN & CO 

STATIONERS. 

Union Stheet.ABERDEEN 



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Visiting Cards. 

^|£ 50 for 1/6, 100 for 2/6. 
*v* Addresses, 6d. extra. 

A '. Brown & Co., 

83 and 8 j Union St., Aberdeen. 



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Brown's Book-Stall. 



gamed garOie & &on<f, 

Cabinetmakers, Upholsterers, 

~<fx and Decorative Furnishers. 

IT ave always on hand a Large and Specially-designed Stock of their 
Own Manufacture of -^ 

mSlxtiziit ^uxnituu arte ffimewt** 

— FOR — 

DINING ROOM, DRAWING ROOM, LIBRARY, HALL, BEDROOM, Etc. 

UPHOLSTERY DEPARTMENT. 

J. G. & SONS recommend intending purchasers to inspect their Stock in this Department, which includes 
BRUSSELS, WILTON, AXMINSTER AND ART CARPETS. 

HEARTH RUGS, IN ALL MAKES AND COLOURINGS. 

LINOLEUMS AND FLOORCLOTHS. 

LACE CURTAINS for all Rooms. + MUSLINS, SILKS, Etc., for Draperies. 

CRETONNES, English and French printed, a Large Choice. 

-<^v Removals Carried Out and Furniture Carefully Stored* %^S+> 



BIZ: r^QT"^ T^ A F^Q - Iron > Iron and Brass > a11 Brass, and Wood. 
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SPRING MATTRESSES in all Makes and Qualities. 
HAIR MATTRESSES and BEDDING of Every Description Made by their own 

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3obbir\g ir\ all the ^ranches Carefully €xecuted by €xpericnced Workmen. 

DESIGNS AND ESTIMATES GIVEN FOR COMPLETE OR ANY 
PART OF FURNISHINGS. 

INSPECTION CORDIALLY INVITED. 

NOTE THE ADDRESS— 

425 UNION STREET, ABERDEEN. 

TELEPHONE NO. SOS. 



Brown's Book-Stall. 



i i 



3f? 



§IGDOFGDcBRa§b^Pen 

Being some notes on the 
Black and White Artists 
of to day 



No. i. MR. W. RALSTON. 



p* 


( /S# 


ISl 



EDITOR SMILED. The circum- 
stance in itself was remarkable and 
disconcerting, for, as those who know 
that distinguished not to say notorious 
gentleman will bear witness, it is only 
on the happy occasions when the day's 
business is confined to the giving of 
change for a sovereign, or the taking of 
a bad half-crown as part payment for 
"The Christian," that the learned 
pundit who collects the "ads." and 
worries the contributors of this paper 
so far forgets himself as to unbend by 
telling one of his Hill-top stories to the staff, and 
thereafter, as a sort of quid pro quo, curtailing their 
customary half-holiday in the most playful spirit. He 
had just finished his seventh soda-water in an establish- 
ment which shall be nameless, as the Proprietor thereof 
does not advertise in these pages, and had asked me 
to write something for a publication which he then 
projected. I had mildly suggested a few notes on 
some of the leading black-and-white artists of the day — 
a suggestion which, with childish innocence, he 
immediately annexed as his own, and forthwith, with 
a Kaiser-like impetuousity, insisted that Mr. W. 
Ralston should form the subject of the first of the 
series. 

"But," I remarked, " I have not the pleasure of 
Mr. Ralston's acquaintance. In fact, to be candid 
with you," I continued, " beyond knowing him as 
one of our most graphic humorists, I have no informa- 
tion with regard to his parentage, the date of his birth, 
his dietary, or the colour of his front parlour wall- 
paper " (which, as everybody knows, are matters 
absolutely essential to the writing of such an article as 
this) — " sufficient to warrant my discussing this 
excellent gentleman in your pages." 



Whereat, as I have said, the Editor smiled. 

The natural serenity of my disposition was ruffled, 
and I continued with becoming dignity — " You smile, 
sir, but I confess I fail to see the humour of the 
situation. Mr. Ralston is one of those gentlemen 
whose pet aversion is the interviewer, who perfer to 
let the quality of their work answer for itself, who can 
quite see through your little dodge that the writing 
of these articles is simply to advertise your sale of 
their publications, who " 

The Editor so far forgot himself as to laugh. The 
oldest inhabitant does not recollect a similar event. 

I rose to touch the bell, remarking with fine irony 
that his wit was of too high an order for my feeble 
mind, and that he should confine it to Bon-Accord y 
when he laid his hand impressively on my arm. 

" My dear laddie," said he — the familiarity was 
quite uncalled for, and I withered him with a glance — 
" My dear laddie, fat are ye haiverin' at ? I couldna 
hae gaen you a better subject" — then, with terrible 
emphasis, and in the true Teems Sim-ian tongue — 
''''fat ye dinna ken aboot the artist, mannie, ye can 
invent.'''' I hastily looked round, and was pleased to 
note that none of more importance than a distinguished 
Auld Kirk parson, a Baillie, and the Superintendent 
of Police had overheard this remark. Whereupon, 
gentle reader, I also smiled. 

All this then to explain to the patient reader that 
the truth in this article is solely of my own composi- 
tion, while the other bits have been dragged from me 
by a relentless and unscrupulous being — to wit him 
yclept the Editor. 

****** 

With the trifling exception of the fact that I knew 
absolutely nothing concerning the personal history of 
Mr. Ralston, beyond the circumstance, known to every- 



1 2 



Brown's Book- Stall. 



£0e (parieian (Utantfe ^afoona, 

© 87 Union Street, © 

ABE^DEEfl, tf.B. 





iiiiilMiiiiiiiiiliii 

1 * m .?{?! 


1 m 
■\ '~t| K ill 

I ft 


1 11 ■ 
■ 


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Choice Selection of Mantles, Capes, and Jackets in Latest London and Continental Styles. 



FREDERICK LOUIS CONNON. 



Brown's Book-Stall. 



•3 



body, that he is the creator of several little volumes 
devoted to the humorous illustration of Scottish charac- 
ter, I can think of no one with whom these hasty notes 
could have been more fittingly begun than the genial 
artist who has created and immortalised the famous 
Southern three — Messrs. Kamdene, Barnsburie, and 
D' Alston in those publications, familiar to every tourist, 
11 A Tour in the North," " North Again— Golfing this 
time," and " A Yachting Holiday." Mr. Ralston is 
essentially Scottish, as befits a Glasgow man, and he 
pictures with unfailing fidelity and humour the typical 
Highlander — not the absurd individual whose vocabul- 
ary in the vernacular is limited to " Hech, mon," 
who does duty for such in the professedly comic 
papers of the South, but the Scot as he is and as you 
will find him in his ' ' ain countrie. " When I explained 
the position of affairs to Mr. Ralston, and begged of 
him with tears in mine eyes for the customary 
particulars which one naturally expects to find in an 
article of a professedly biographical nature, he quite 
appreciated the humour of the situation. With 
characteristic kindness he placed at my disposal the 
humorous little drawing which accompanies this 
issue of the Book-Stall, and which forms the peg on 
which these haphazard notes are hung ; then, with a 
modesty which I might commend, did it not place me 
in so confoundedly awkward a position, replied to the 
effect that he was born, had lived, and probably would 
die in due course. The rest of his life, however, he 
contended, was only of interest to himself, and even 
to himself he generally found it rather irritating 
reading. Why this pessimism in one whose work has 
added not a little to the gaiety of nations it would be 
hard to say, save that he is a sort of second Jack 
Point who finds that — 

It adds to the task 

Of a merryman's place, 
When your principal asks — 

With a scowl on his face, 
If you know that you're paid to be funny ? 

Zealous research, however, in Blue Books and 
Family Bibles, enables me to give a few interesting 
items in Mr. Ralston's career, the more so from the 
fact that he is the least egotistical of men, and shuns 
publicity as he does the devil. He was born over 
fifty years ago at Milton, a village near Dumbarton 
on the Clyde, his father being a pattern designer there, 
and afterwards a photographer in Glasgow. In his 
youth he tried his hand at various things, including 
photography, and eventually found his way to 



Australia, where he remained for about three years as 
a gold digger. He did not, however, it is perhaps 
unnecessary to add, at once become a millionaire. 
Returning, he again joined his father, and it was not 
until about this time, when he was 25 or 26 years of 
age, that his latent talent for drawing began to exhibit 
itself. He had a brother who gave promise of becoming 
a really great artist, but whodied while yet a young man. 
Mr. Ralston used to watch him at work, and thought 
he would try and learn also, with what excellent 
results] those who have revelled in his books will 
readily bear witness. His only regret is that he did 
not commence at an earlier age, for he thinks that 
starting thus late leaves the mark of the amateur on 
one's work for ever. This may or may not be — it is 
not for me to argue with Mr. Ralston— but the fact 
nevertheless remains that Art in general would not 
suffer did a goodly number of our amateurs, and for 
that matter professionals as well, attain the proficiency 
of this artist by delaying their start until an equally 
late — I'm afraid that in many cases it would be an 
even later — period of life. After the usual rebuffs, 
he got some cheap work to do for a Glasgow firm, 
and with characteristic Scotch perseverance and 
determination stuck to it until he gradually got an 
occasional sketch into Punch, London News, 
md other papers. Then — in a happy moment of 
inspiration — he sent one day a sketch to the Graphic, 
who not only took it, but paid him at least double 
the amount he had ever got before for the same size 
of block, and further added that they would be 
pleased to see more. This was the commencement 
of his long connection with Mr. Thomas, the 
manager — a connection of which he has the kindliest 
recollection. Mr. Thomas invited him to go to 
London, promising him a certain amount of work 
and pay, but eventually gave far more in both ways. 
Of the kindness of the Graphic people Mr. Ralston 
speaks in no stinted terms of praise, while he con- 
siders that their method of doing business is, in 
everyway, one that keeps their artists loyal to them. 
Though precluded by this engagement from doing 
other work, Mr. Ralston has in his time worked, 
more or less, for all the principal publishers. For 
some considerable period he was a regular contributor 
to the pages of Punch — that Ultima Thule which is 
the goal of every self-respecting artist. It was in 
1870, on Shirley Brook's succession to the Editorship, 
that he obtained his recognition. " I remember," 
writes Mr. Ralston, in that capital volume, " The 
History of Punch,'' compiled by Mr. M. H. 



u 



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ABERDEEN PAST AND 
PRESENT is the title of a 
series of Illustrated Articles 
now appearing- in 

BON-ACCORD. 



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Printer and Publisher, 
18 Union Terrace, Aberdeen. 



Aberdeen in the beginning of the Century. 

A JUMBLE OF JOTTINGS 

From the Memories of a Quiet Life. 

PRICE SIXPENCE. 



A. Brown & Co., Publishers, Aberdeen. 



Brown's Book -Stall. 



*5 



Spielmann, and published by Messrs. Cassell & Co., 
' I remember how in walking down to business that 
day I tried to look unconscious of my greatness, and 
mentally determined that it would make no difference 
in my bearing.'' In speaking of his connection with 
"our only Comic'" Mr. Spielmann says — "His drawings 
at first were very hard, but the point of humour was 
invariably good, and the Scottish ' wut ' equal to that 
of the best man who ever drew for the paper." At 
the death of Tom Taylor, Mr. Ralston's contributions 
ceased, he then being retained by the Graphic. In all, 
however, he enlivened Punch 's pages with something 
like two hundred and twenty-seven drawings, initials, 
and " socials," and one literary contribution — " K. G. 
— Q. E. D." — written in the Sandford and Merton 
vein, and directed against the Duke of Bedford and 
the Bloomsbury Gates. 




MR. W. RALSTON. 

From "The History of Punch" by M. H. Spielmann, 
by permission of Messrs. Cassell & Co. 



On the death of his father, eight years ago, Mr. 
Ralston returned to Glasgow and took up the business, 
and has been steadily employed of late in building up 
and expanding it, though now and then he finds time 
to do a few Graphic sketches, or a good turn to a 
journalist brother, such as the one for which I am 
to-day indebted to him. 

Mr. Ralston's artistic work is now so well known 
and so deservedly popular that little need be said 
about it here. He is a genuine humorist, and no 
matter whether he is picturing his own jokes or 
another's, he thoroughly realises the humour and 
point of the situation. The first book by him the 
public noticed was "The Queys was goot." His own 
criticism of this work is "the drawings are vile — but 
there's something very Scotch about them," Then 



came, with the help of Lieut. G. W. Cole, a naval 
officer to whom Mr. Ralston acknowledges his 
indebtedness for some of his best ideas, " Tippoo, a 
tale of a tiger ''—a really side-splitting volume over 
which the writer laughed the other evening till the 
landlady hastily appeared on the scene and announced 
that the back parlour ceiling was giving way — "A Tour 
in the North," and "The Demon Cat." Afterwards he 
issued alone " North Again " and " A Yachting Holi- 
day"— the latter — one of the best of an inimitable, and 
in their way, unequalled series — being published 
last year. He has also contributed some of his 
best work to the Xmas numbers of the Graphic. I 
have already said that, personally, Mr. Ralston is the 
most unassuming, and withal one of the kindest of 
men. His other attributes he thus humorously sums 
up — " I am not, and never was, dissipated — but 
smoke and take my grog all the same ! " It may be 
of interest to my readers to know that the smaller 
figure in the illustration, generously drawn for us by 
Mr. Ralston, is a portrait of himself; while the 
formidable individual, with the head of Ibsen and 
the literary-like legs, is a very striking likeness of 
the writer of these lines. 

J. G. R. 



From the Ledger of A. Brown & Co. 

[With the customary apologies to the Daybook 
of Bethia Hardacre.~\ 

i.— TO HER LADYESHIP. 

$©»• 
Where are there eyes, my maiden, 

Eyes like to those of thine ? 
With love and with laughter laden— 

Where the shade is always shine ; 
Where are there eyes, my maiden, 

Eyes like to those of thine ? 

Where are the golden tresses 
That rival thy nut-brown hair ? 

Where the stray curl that caresses 
The forehead of one more fair ? 

Where are the golden tresses 
That rival thy nut-brown hair ? 

Pro A. Brown & Co., 

J. St. John. 



i6 



Brown's Book-Stall. 



The Post=Office Site 

Is a matter of little importance compared to 




The Site of Brown's Book-Stall 



It is still at 

83 and 85 Union Street, Aberdeen. 




No. 38. 



October, 1897. 



Price One Penny. 



IN THE THIRTIES.— II. 

so* 

/^■^HE schools in the ancient burgh were 

LJ all situated within a stone-throw of 

^r each other, and pupils came from 

all parts of the Parish — Woodside, 

Gordon's Mills, beyond the Don, and almost 

Aberdeen. The Lancastrian or Bell's School 

was an innovation in regard to mode of 

teaching and small fees. The boys' school 

was under the superintendence of one who 

was afterwards English Master in the Town 

School of Aberdeen. In his time he was an 

enthusiastic and capable teacher. He took 

a special delight in his work and was most 

successful with his pupils. 

The elder and more advanced scholars 
were appointed Monitors and had to keep 
order in the class and teach them. The 
lesson was generally from boards hung on 
the wall, and they read simultaneously, being 
kept in proper position by a chalk semi- 
circle. The noise was considerable, but 
the teaching to read was very good in- 
deed. The mode of acquiring spelling was 
rather ingenious and interesting. In the 
desks before the pupils were small cases 
filled with the various letters of the alphabet, 
and on the word to be spelt being announced, 
the fingers were busy picking up the letters 
out of the case and placing them in line on 
the desk. In fact it was very similar to the 
printer's case of type. 

The more advanced pupils had writing to 
dictation, arithmetic, grammar, and geo- 
graphy. The dictation was given by the 
master reading from some interesting work. 



The reading was not too hurried, and it was 
one of the departments of study which the 
scholars highly appreciated. The Bible was 
regularly read, especially the Old Testament 
history, and the scholars were examined upon 
the leading facts, but there was no dogmatic 
or doctrinal teaching of any kind. 

At this school, for three half-pence a week 
payable every Monday morning, a really good 
initiatory education was given. Adjoining 
the boys' school was one for girls conducted 
on the same lines, and by the same methods 
and cost. Further down, and nearer the sea, 
was the Grammar School, a very plain and 
unpretentious building, where Latin and 
Greek were taught, largely attended by those 
who were to go into professional life, and 
who were preparing for the Bursary Com- 
petition at King's College, then the Uni- 
versity of Old Aberdeen. Still more east- 
ward and near was the Parochial School, 
taught by Mr John Cowie, who was not only 
teacher but precentor in the Aulton Kirk. 
Here a very good commercial education was 
given. Mr Cowie excelled as a penman, his 
writing was beautiful, and he used to write 
out the diplomas for the graduates at the 
University on vellum, with tasteful ornament- 
ation, in the execution of which he used 
only crow quill pens. 

At the time to which I refer, the mending 
and making of pens was no small task, and 
had to be done daily. No steel pens were 
used. There was a popular idea that these 
spoilt the hand writing, and that they had 
neither the flexibility nor the merit of the 
goose quill, but like other prejudices this was 



Brown's Book-Stall. 




G. Mitchell Moir, 



/AUSIC SELLER, 



Has a most Choice Selection of_ 



American Organs 
/s*-^ and pianos. 

82 Union Street, Aberdeen. 



WALTER SI/APSON, 

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Works : 2 ROSE STREET. 



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Brown's Book-Stall. 



'9 



dispelled, and I wrote up my book-keeping 
exercises with Joseph Gillott's 166, which I 
introduced to the school, and it has been a 
favourite with me ever since, although I 
certainly prefer " The Devil's Own "* to any 
pen I know. Mr Cowie, although not a 
brilliant teacher, was very much liked. He 
had a gentle manner, courteous, frank, and 
gentlemanly, and induced a corresponding 
habit amongst his pupils, some of whom 
were come to men's estate, and were getting 
a finishing where their education had 
been neglected in youth. In arithmetic our 
dominie was not great, and frequently in our 
difficulties he had to refer to a key to see the 
working out of the answer, which was kept 
in the desk under lock and key, and only 
turned out when required. In Reading, 
M'Culloch's Course of Lessons was the class 
book, Lennie's English Grammar, Ingram's 
Arithmetic, Reid's Geography, constituted 
almost our sole stock of books for use at 
school. We had no History, no home 
lessons but a little Grammar and Catechism 
■ — so there was plenty of time for play. 
Some of the boys were selected by the 
teacher to assist him in the choir, and the 
practisings were held one evening of the week. 
There was no training of a musical kind, 
simply practising the Psalm tunes for Sunday, 
with an occasional extra of secular music for 
a concert. Any musical skill which I possess 
either in practice or teaching was not learnt 
there. 

At that time the pulpit of the Aulton 
Kirk was occupied by Dr Forbes and Rev. 
R. Smith. The former was also a professor in 
the University. He was a dour man. I never 
remember seeing a smile on his face, but 
Prosody, as he was called, was said by the 
common people to be clever, although I have 
no recollection of anything said or done which 
would lead me to that conclusion. I re- 
member one peculiarity he had. When 
engaged in prayer he did so with his eyes 
open, and I had the idea that it must have 
been printed on the wall behind the gallery, 
opposite the pulpit, and so curious was I to 
ascertain if this was true that one Sunday 

* The Devil's Own Pen, 6d per box ; per post, 7d. 
A. Brown & Co., 83 and 85 Union Street, Aberdeen. 



I went early to church to see whether this 
was so or not. I need not say that it was 
not. I was very much puzzled to account 
for his keeping his eyes open, when every 
other one I knew at school and elsewhere 
prayed with eyes closed. I also remember 
he wore, when preaching, black silk gloves 
with a hole in the point of the forefinger to 
enable him to turn over the leaves of his 
manuscript. Rev. R. Smith I liked better. 
His manners were more pleasant, but his. 
prayers were very much alike Sunday after 
Sunday; in fact the second was always the 
same, only varied by the announcement of 
the precentor that the prayers of the 
congregation are requested on behalf of 
John so and so in great distress, or supposed 
to be near death. In fact we could repeat 
it word for word, it was so familar to the 
congregation. 

At that time sessioning for marriage was a 
great affair, and many of those who were arrang- 
ing for having the proclamation made used to 
call on Saturday evening on an old elder to 
accompany them to the Session Clerk. This 
John did very willingly, for the happy party 
generally adjourned to get a dram after the 
business was done. He was a worthy old 
man this elder, with his red wig, knee- 
breeches, and well-turned ankle and high 
instep, of which he was very proud. His 
duties as elder were not very heavy. He 
stood at the church door plate, counted the 
collection, attended to the poor and meetings 
of the Session, and this was all he did, or 
was expected to do, in his official capacity 
but he was a capital player at Catch-the-ten 
Indeed, every evening during the winter, 
from seven to ten, he had a small party, of 
which four were selected to play, and thus his 
winter evenings were spent. On Saturdays 
the hour to stop was nine, as he had to 
shave, so that no work of an unnecessary 
kind might be done on the Sunday, and 
besides he was almost certain to be taken 
away to visit the Session Clerk with those 
who were bent on matrimony. John's 
reading was very limited, either sacred or 
profane, but he was an obliging kind of old 
man, one whose memory I revere, and whose 
friendship when a youth I highly valued. 



20 



Brown's Book-Stall. 



Established 1830, 



W. & J. Walker, 

Umbrella 
manufacturers, 

98 Union Street, 
&berfceen. 



HOUSEHOLD LWEJiS. 
P. BEVERIDGE, 

Invites Inspection of his Stock of 

Table Linen, Cotton & Linen Sheetings, 

Towels and Towellings, Blankets, 

Flannels, Eider-Down Quilts, 

ALSO — 

Eadies and Children's lender clothing 



Marriage and Foreign Napery and Outfitting 

Orders Marked and Delivered 

Ready for Use. 



39 & 41 ST. NICHOLAS STREET, 
ABERDEEN. 

Established 1841. Telephone No. 381. 



Established over 50 Years. 

William Gay & Sons, 

432 UNION STREET 

AND 

215 GEORGE STREET. 
Works— Union Wynd. 

FUNERALS Conducted in Town and Country at 

Moderate Charges. 

Largest Stock of Funeral Requisites in the North 

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Telegrams— "Cay, Aberdeen." 



Compilers and Publishers of 

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a 



An Annual Obituary of Aberdeen and _ Vicinity, 

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Back Volumes, NINEPENCE. 



BON-ACCORD HOTEL 

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Tourists, Commercial Gentlemen, and Residenters 
will find this the best appointed Restaurant in Town 
in which to Lunch, Dine, take Tea or Supper. 
Largest Public Dining Hall in Town. Ladies' 
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Magnificent separate Suites of Rooms for Dinners, 
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Wines and Liquors of the Finest Quality. 
JOHN B. MOLLISON, Proprietor. 



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Brown's Book-Stall. 



SCOTS WEATHER. 

i. 

If ye wait for weather in Scotland, 

Ye'll never gang fra hame ; 
For it snaws here a' the winter awa', 

And in simmer it's meikle the same. 
For the snaw grows sleet, and the sleet grows weet, 

An' the win blaws ower the year ; 
O they live at the weary end o' the war Id, 
Wha live in Scotland here ! 

For this is the weather in Scotland, 
That the water seeps to the skin ; 
We're weet, when we're weet, where the warld 
may see't, 
And we're drouthy an' dry within. 
II. 
But come your wa's for the gude auld cause — 

The face of a friend to view ; 
Wha's sojourn here may be less than a year, 

Or may rin a' the fourscore noo. 
And if we lack to ca' the crack, 

Yet we sail not gant and glower, 
But draw for a while on the ancient style — 
Drinking an' driving ower ! 

An' the rain may roar at the hallan' door, 

But farrer it will not win ; 
We're weet, when we're weet, where the warld 
may see't, 
But we're drouthy and dry within ! 

Hugh Haliburton. 
From the Scots Pictorial. 



TO THE JESTER. 



Speaking of the weather (and who doesn't speak 
of the weather in these foggy little islands ?), have you 
seen that very interesting little work " The Story of 
the Weather," by G. F. Chambers ? Considering the 
place occupied by the weather in our daily conversa- 
tion, it might be used as a "Guide to Polite Conversa- 
tion." Besides a lot of scientific information given 
in a popular, readable style on all the various phases 
of the weather, it gives a number of old saws em- 
bodying the wisdom of our fathers, how to read the 
signs of the times, and to predict the weather. There 
are a number of illustrations of sky signs, and also of 
instruments for recording observations. Nobody ought 
to be without a copy. It can be had post free for 12 
stamps from Brown's Bookstall, 83 Union Street, 
Aberdeen. 



CLORINDA loquittir. 



SO- 



Your quaintest quips, your gayest jests 
Are but to me as things apart ; 

You'd speak, but read you my behests, 
The worthier language of the heart. 

My laughter — merely shallow sweet — 
Rings tremulous from languid lips 

Would fainer yield their sighs to greet 
A strong heart's self-imposed eclipse. 

O reckless of my heart's desire ! 

heedless of the middle way ! 
Would'st whelm Love's image in the mire 

To prove yet one more idol clay ? 

Your love a secret all unknown 

You'd hold, so set your lips in seal ; 

fool and blind, is still thine own 
What your too candid eyes reveal ? 

1 too can act my little lie, 

If both must wear the guise of mimes ; 
But why our destiny deny ? — 

1 likewise know the lonely times. 

A. N. McD. 



Crown 8vo, 400 p.p., price 5/- net. Postage 4d. 

ABERDEEN AWA' 

Sketches of its Men, Manners, and Customs. 
By GEORGE WALKER. 

With Portraits and Illustrations. 



The volume contains nearly double the matter which 
appeared in Brown's Book-Stall." 

Aberdeen: A. BROWN & CO. 

Edinburgh : JOHN MENZIES & CO., 

and all Booksellers. 



1 



ftCLUBVELLDM 

61 



JMOTE PAPER 



A BROWN &CO 

STATIONERS. ■ ■*) 

Union Street. ABERDEEN.* 



a»*ll« 



22 



Brown's Book-Stall. 



DUTCH BULBS. 

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See Catalogue for Cocker s Special 

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NEW CATALOGUES now in Press. 
SEND FOR ONE. 



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J AS. GOGrvEr} & SOpS, HuFserymen & Seedsmen, Aberdeen. 



BEfi. REID & CO., 

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ABERDEEN, 

Have received their First Consignment of 

Dutch Flower Roots, 

Extra Fine, Well Ripened Bulbs. 

Illustrated Catalogues Free on Application. 



BRANCH FLORAL WAREHOUSE: 

145 Union Street. 



Large Stock of FRESH CUT FLOWERS 
always on hand. 

BOUQUETS, WREATHS, CROSSES, SPRAYS, 
and every description of FLORAL WORK to order, in 
Newest Styles and Artistically Executed. 

Pot Plants for Hire or Sale. 



F. B. KELLY 



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10 St. flieholas Street. 



^ 



Brown's Book-Stall. 



: %fa® " at 1m 

§IGD0F6DeBRa§b^Pen 

Being some notes on the 

Black and White Artists 

of to day 



23 



/< 



No. 2.— MR. A. S. HARTRICK 




HON CAMPBELL 
came from Gaerloch. 
So does Mr. A. S. 
Hartrick, though 
circumstances over 
which he had no con- 
trol at the time, gave 
India the honour of 
being his birthplace. 
That, however, was 
his misfortune rather 
than his fault. He 
was born near Bangalore, Madras, where his father's 
regiment was then stationed, but he took the earliest 
opportunity of showing that, to adapt a favourite song 
of the Editor's to the circumstance of the moment, 
"There was only one place in the world for him," by 
proceeding to Scotland as speedily as possible, and 
establishing himself at Row on the Gaerloch, where 
he has had his home for the greater part of his life 
Fettes College gave him his education, and he was 
originally destined for the medical profession. With 
that end in view he matriculated at Edinburgh 
University. Instead of attending classes, however, 
he threw up the scalpel for the brush, and diverted his 
anatomical studies to a new use by coming up to 
London to study art at the Slade School under Pro- 
fessor Legros. He had always wished to be an artist 
of the brush rather than one of the carving knife, and 
took the first favourable opportunity of gratifying his 
desires, with what happy results those who know his 
clever black and white work, of which a charming 
example accompanies this notice, well know. Perhaps 
I ought to say here that though a character sketch 
would undoubtedly have been more typical as a speci- 
men of Mr. Hartrick's work, he very kindly and 
readily acceded to the writer's particular request that 



he would contribute a study of a girl's head to our 
pages, nor, judging by results, do I think that this 
laudable effort of mine to satisfy a pardonable weak- 
ness of the Editor's for a pretty face has been altogether 
an unhappy one. 

From London Mr. Hartrick went to Paris, where 
he worked with the most gratifying results for eighteen 
months under Boulanger and others. The result of 
his studies was apparent a couple of years later, when 
he gained his first public success by having a picture 
hung in the Salon of 1887. Then he came back to 
Scotland, and put in a lot of hard work while residing 
at Largs in Fifeshire, the produce of his labours being 
meanwhile exhibited at the Royal Scottish Academy, 
Glasgow Institute, etc. 

On 4th January, 1890, the Daily Graphic was 
started, and Mr. Hartrick joined the staff, remaining 
there for nearly three years and doing a large quantity 
of artistic work, and a considerable amount of special 
corresponding. He next joined the staff of the Pall 
Mall Btidget when it went into Mr. W. W. Astor's 
hands, and remained there until the paper was 
suddenly stopped. At the time of its unexpected 
demise it was one of the best of the illustrated 
weeklies, and had a splendid circulation and 
advertising connection. Its abrupt end was one of 
the most startling events of recent journalism, 
and was a freak — if freak it can be called — worthy of 
a millionaire. The real reason of the stoppage was 
never, to my knowledge, satisfactorily explained, but 
a purely sentimental one mentioned at the time, but 
with what truth I know not, was that Mr. Astor had 
given the paper as a present to his wife, and that, after 
her somewhat sudden death, he did not desire that 
anyone else should be associated with its fortunes. 
Since then Mr. Hartrick has been a free-lance, adding 
charm to many papers and magazines by his beautiful 
pen-work. 



24 Brown's Book-Stall. 



DOMESTIC ARTICLES. 



ACCOUCHMENT SHEETS— 2/-, 2/6, 3/6, 4/6, 5/6, 6/6. 

NURSING APRONS -1/6, 2/-, 2/6, 3/-, 3/6. 

BABIES' BIBS AND PILCHERS— 6d., 9<i, 2/-, 2/6. 

BREAST EXHAUSTERS AND BINDERS— 2/-, 2/6, 
5/6, and 7/6. 

WATERPROOF BED SHEETING -Single Texture, 

36 in. Wide, 2/- and 2/6 per yard ; Double Texture, 
36 in. Wide, 3/6 and 4/- per yard. 

LADIES' CHEST EXPANDERS— 2/6, 3/6, 4/6. 

THE NEW ACME BRACE— 5/6, 6/6, 7/6. 

INDIA-RUBBER BED PANS— 8/6 10/6, 12/6, 15/-, 18/-. 

INDIA-RUBBER URINALS— 4/6, 6/6, 8/6, 10/6, 12/6. 



Hot Water Bottles, 4/6, 6/6, 8/6, 10/6. Draught Tubing, i^d., 2d., 3d. per foot. 
Enemas, 3/6 and 4/6 each. Water Beds on Hire. India-rubber Teats. Rubber Toys. 
Water Pillows. Air Cushions and Pillows. Waterproof Collars and Cuffs. Sponge Bags. 
Teething Pads. Finger Stalls. Rubber School Bands. 



€Me6 & ffi'9>fierefon, 

3nMa;(Ru66et anfc Tfcatoproof (manufactory, 

52 GUILD STREET, ABERDEEN 

(OPPOSITE RAILWAY STATION). 




FROM AN ORIGINAL DRAWING 
BY MR. A. S. HARTRICK. 



Brown's Book- Stall. 



27 



£0e (Parisian (Wantfe ^afoon*, 

© 87 Union Street, © 

ABERDEEN, N.B. 




No. 1 Saloon 
SEAL CAPES AND COATS. FUR=LINED CLOAKS. 

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Choice Selection of Mantles, Capes, and Jackets in Latest London and Continental Styles. 



FREDERICK LOUIS CONNON. 



Brown's Book-Stall. 



<&ame<f tfarOie & &ond, 

Cabinetmakers, Upholsterers, 

.xsx and Decorative Furnishers, 

I I AVE always on hand a Large and Specially-designed^ Stock of their 
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— FOR — 

DINING ROOM, DRAWING ROOM, LIBRARY, HALL, BEDROOM, Etc. 

UPHOLSTERY DEPARTMENT. 

{. (".. & SONS recommend intending purchasers to inspect their Stock in this Department, which includes 
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HEARTH RUGS, IN ALL MAKES AND COLOURINGS. 

LINOLEUMS AND FLOORCLOTHS. 
LACE CURTAINS for all Rooms. + MUSLINS, SILKS, Etc., for Draperies. 

CRETONNES, English and French printed, a Large Choice. 

-^V- Removals Carried Out and Furniture Carefully Stored, X^^ 



BEDSTEADS Iron ' 



Iron and Brass, all Brass, and Wood. 
All Sizes Kept in Stock. 



SPRING MATTRESSES in all Makes and Qualities. 
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INSPECTION CORDIALLY INVITED. 
NOTE THE ADDRESS— 

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TELEPHONE NO. 505 



Brown's Book-Stall. 



29 



About the time of the stoppage of the Pall Mall 
Budget, the Daily Chronicle, quite the most enter- 
prising of the London morning papers, began a series 
of illustrations apropos to the then pending County 
Council election. This series was issued under the 
general supervision of Mr. Joseph Penned — whose own 
work both in connection with it and elsewhere cannot 
be too highly praised, but of whom, if this distinguished 
black and white artist can be persuaded to adorn our 
pages, I hope to be able to say something at a later 
date — and was subsequently published in book form 
with the accompanying letterpress under the title of 
" New London, Her Parliament and its Work." 



Mr. Raven Hill, and many another famous artist, Mr. 
Hartrick contributed to the volume a number of 
capital drawings. They were mostly illustrations of 
the seamier side of London life " The Dossers' Ken 
and the Lodgers' Kitchen," contrasting the present 
with the past; "A Ward in Claybury Asylum" — a 
picture of terrible and almost painful fidelity — and 
the one which through the kindness of Messrs Lloyd, 
Ltd., proprietors and publishers of the Chronicle, we 
are able to reproduce with this notice. It represents 
a then famous slum, Boundary Street, now happily 
swept away, and of which a very vivid description is 
given in the accompanying letterpress. For the 




BOUNDARY STREET. 



This volume, though primarily of interest to 
Londoners, is one which also appeals strongly to the 
general reader, and to those in the North who know 
not the London of yesterday — London as it was before 
the six years of administrative governorship of the 
County Council — it should prove most interesting 
reading, not only as giving an account of the work 
of the Council, but as a picture of Le Gallienne's — 

City of the Midnight Sun, 
Whose day begins when day is done — 

as it used to be. In the right good company of Sir 
Edward Burne-Jones, Mr. Pennell, Mr. Phil May, 



benefit of those readers who know not the bye-ways 
of Babylon, I give a short extract : — 

A LONDON SLUM. 

Here were fifteen acres, mostly of old decaying houses, 
intersected by blind courts and narrow tunnel-like passages. 
. In the houses which we visited the plaster is falling off 
the bricks, and the ceiling is falling off the laths where it is not 
fastened up by stout paper. The dampness almost passes 
belief. The floors are brown and rotten with moisture, just as 
if a flood had passed over them. . . . One floor had holes 
in it large enough to put the leg of a table through ; another was 
patched with bits of egg-box ; a third was laid on the very earth 
itself, with not even a joist between the mould and the boarding. 
Four families in a four-roomed house was a common thing. 



3° 



Brown's Book-Stall. 




JEfuncheon, ^Cea, and 
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Conducted offer the style of Leading Establishments in 
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SOUP, FISH, MEAT, SWEETS. 

CHARGES MODERATE. 

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So foul are the accumulations between the ceiling and the 
upper flooring laths that the workmen who were called in to 
demolish these places objected. There is a deposit, some four or 
five inches thick, of what looks like rich brown mould — the un- 
stirred dirt of half a century or more — for vermin to breed in. 
In the same street you may see the basements where the people 
used to live and sleep — low, black, noisome holes. How the 
business of life was managed it is difficult to understand, in 
rooms seven feet by eight and seven and a half feet high. Even 
the extrication of dead bodies, a regular part of the day's work 
in Boundary Street, must have been a hard matter. Coffins 



could not be brought down almost perpendicular staircases two 
feet six inches wide, or out through passages of the same dimen- 
sions. Were the window-frames taken out— for the windows 
bear no traces of ever opening— or what happened ? Perhaps it 
was in these parts that Dickens saw the undertaker with the 
black ladder down which the coffin was skidded from the window 
to the court. 

These and the subsequent illustrations which he has 
given in the Chronicle, were drawn at the request of 
Mr. Pennell, whose judgment in selecting Mr. Ilartrick 




THE DRUMS OF THE FORE AND AFT. 



Brown's Book-Stall. 



GEORGE flEWflES, Ittd., Publishers. 



The Thames Illustrated. A Picturesque Journeying 
l>et\veen Richmond and Oxford. " The Thames Illus- 
rRATKD " with nearly 300 Perfect Views, printed on Art 
Paper, from copper plates. Cloth, gilt leaves, 10s. 6d. 

Pioneer Women in Victoria's Reign. Being Short 
Histories o{ Great Movements. By Edwin A. Pra.lt. 
Crown 8vo., cloth, 5s. 
'• A survey given with great skill and effect." — Times. 
'• Hi> chapters on Women's Work in Emigration and in Medicine are 

admirable." — Fall Mall Gazette. 

England's History, as pictured by famous painters. An 
Album of 260 Historical Pictures, edited by A. G. TEMPLE, 
F.S.A. Oblong, 4to., cloth extra, gilt leaves, 10s. 6d. 

The Victorian Era Reader ; a Graphic Record of a Glorious 
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handsomely bound in cloth, gilt leaves. Each Vol. 
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of the Holy Land. Oblong 4to. , cloth extra, gilt leaves, 8s. 6d. 

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Sketch Maps and Illustrations. 
" One of those fascinating books of travel which have taken a place in 
permanent literature." — Times. 

Thackeray's Christimas Books. Mrs. Perkin's Ball, Our 
Street, Dr. Birch and His Young Friends, Rebecca and 
Rouena, The Kickleburys on the Rhine, The Rose and 
the Ring. In one volume. 
" Another welcome reprint." — Morning Post. 



North and South. By Mrs. Gaskell. A New Edition. 
450 pp., crown 8vo. 

" Capital edition of a charming story." — Manchester Courier. 

Shakspeare's Heroines : Characteristics of Women- 
Moral, Poetical, and Historical. By Mrs. Jameson. 

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ARCHIBALD, M.A. With 44 Illustrations. 

The Story of Forest and Stream. By James Rodway, 

F.L.S. With 27 Illustrations. 
The Story of the Chemical Elements. By M. M. 

PATl hon Mlik, M.A. 
The Story of Extinct Civilization of the East. By R. 

E. Anderson, M.A., E.A.S. With Maps. 

The Story of Electricity. By J. Monro. With 100 

Illustrations. 
The Story of a Piece of Coal. By E. A. Martin, 

F.G.S. With 38 Illustrations. 

The Story of the Solar System. By G. F. Chambers, 
F.R.A.S. With 28 Illustrations. 



The Story of the Earth in Past Ages. By Prof. H. G. 
Seeley, F.R.S. With 40 Illustrations. 

The Story of the Plants. By Grant Allen. With 
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With 88 Illustrations. 

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8 to 12 SOUTHAMPTON STREET, STRAND, LONDON, W.C. 



Brown^s Book-StaLL. 



si 



for the work has been more than justified by the 
results — for I need not say that drawing for such a 
paper as the Daily Chronicle, printed at express speed, 
is a vastly different undertaking from the usual run of 
more leisurely executed magazine illustrations. Mr. 
Hartrick does not take all the credit of his success to 
himself, however, but with characteristic modesty 
attributes no inconsiderable share of it to Mr. Pennell 
— " Indeed," says he, with a commendable readiness 
to pay tribute to Qesar, "it is to Mr. Pennell 
I believe, that I owe any small reputation as a black 
and white artist I may have. 

As well as for the publications already mentioned, 
Mr. Hartrick has also drawn for the Graphic, in 
which some capital work by him has appeared, Black 
and White, the Sketch, and that lively little weekly, 
Pick- Me- Up, for which Mr. Raven Hill did so much 
in the way of pictorial humour. In addition, he is a 
member of the New English Art Club, on the select- 
ing committee of which he has been for some 
years, and chairman of the Society of Illustrators. 
Curiously enough, however, Punch does not appear 
to have " discovered " him — a circumstance which the 
readers of that paper cannot but deplore, for his 
capital character studies would prove a distinct 
acquisition to the pages of the London Charivari. 

During his residence in Scotland, chiefly through 
the instrumentality of his step-father, the late Dr. 
Charles Blatherwick, who was President of the Glasgow 
Art Club for some years. Mr. Hartrick got to know 
intimately most of the Glasgow artists, more particu- 



larly those of the New School, "the Glasgow Boys," 
whose work, it will be remembered, was strongly 
represented in a recent issue of the Yellow Book. 
Ever since he commenced painting, Mr. Hartrick has 
kept up his connection with Scotland, but of late 
years he has not been very prominently represented in 
the North, though it must not on that account be 
supposed that he is any the less a Scotchman, "for 
all my sympathies," he says, "are with Scottish Art." 

The only special work in the illustrating of books 
that he has done is a series of drawings for Mr. 
Kipling's " Soldiers' Tales," published by Messrs. 
McMillan & Co., to whose readily given permission 
we are indebted for the privilege of reproducing one 
of the illustrations to "The Drums of the P'ore and 
Aft." It is rather a coincidence, too, that Mr. 
Hartrick should have been born in India in the same 
year as Kipling, and should have been the first artist 
to draw specially for the world-famous novelist. 

And lastly, my reader, it only remains for me, the 
Editor being a shy man not used to addressing a 
large audience, to thank Mr. Hartrick for the assist- 
ance which he courteously rendered in the compiling 
of this article, as well as for the original sketch by 
himself, and the portrait by Mr. Phil May." To the 
latter also, I take off my hat to say, Thank you kindly ? 
though if the Fates (and the man mainly concerned) 
are propitious, I hope to have it out with him in a 
more thorough manner ere he and I are very much 
older. J. G. R. 

* Owing to an accident, this is delayed till a later number. 



M 
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34 



Brown's Book-Stall. 



JOHN A. DUNN, 

WEST-END SHOE WAREHOUSE. 



LADIES' DEPARTMENT. 

Lacing and Buttoned Boots in Newest Shades of Brown. 
Shoes in large variety — Brown, Buck, and Glaee Kid. 
Large Variety of Gaiters — Best Quality and Durable Shades. 

GENTLEMEN'S DEPARTMENT. 

Anklets in Pigskin, Chamois, and Canvas. 

Riding Leggings in Best Pigskin. 

Gaiters in Cloth and Brown Leather. 

Horseskin Boots for Business Wear — "Own Make." 



175 UNION STREET WEST. 



The Finest Cigarette 

in the Market is 

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Artistic Lithographers, Draughtsmen, 
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3 Queen Street, 

ABERDEEN, 



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Send it to your Friends Abroa d 
ABERDEEN PAST AND 
PRESENT is the title of a 
series of Illustrated Articles 
now appearing in 

BON-ACCORD. 

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nnpcc Printer and Publisher, 

ri^coo. l8 Union Terrace, Aberdeen. 



Aberdeen in the beginning of the Century. 

A JUMBLE OF JOTTINGS 

From the Memories of a Quiet Life. 

PRICE SIXPENCE. 



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Brown's Book-Stall. 



35 



From the Ledger of A. Brown & Co. 

[Again with the customary apologies to the Daybook 
of Bethia Hardacre.'] 

2.— TO MY LADYE'S SLIPPERS. 

Dainty slippers of green and blue, 

Now of a most uncertain shade — 
Given to her by her own love true ; 

Ere Age upon her his hand had laid 
And tinged with grey her nut-brown hair, 

Or yet she'd grown demure and staid ; 
In truth you once were a pretty pair, 

But both have now begun to fade ! 

Dainty slippers of blue and green, 

Faded now to an unknown hue — 
Fairy feet they were, I ween 

You vainly tried to hide from view ; 
But yon show signs of tear and wear, 

And now you're only an old, old shoe, 
But she is aye my la ly fair, 

And I am still her own love true. 

Pro A. Brown & Co., 
St. Jack. 



The Up=to=Date Printer. 



In a new book dealing with Roman History the 
hero should have said — " Bring me my Toga,'' but 
the printer brought it up-to-date by the substitution 
of a wrong letter, and made him say — " Bring me my 
togs." 

An instance of telegraphic brevity is mentioned in 
the " Dictionnaire d' Anecdotes, ' which leaves some 
of our most laconic replies quite in the shade. When 
Victor Hugo published " Les Miserables,"' he was 
anxious to know how the sale was progressing, and 
forwarded to the publisher a telegram thus " ?," to 
which the latter replied in the same style with " ! " 

**• 

"And do they have much rejected manuscript in 
the office ? " asked the timid contributor of the 
office boy who was sweeping out. " You bet yer 
life they do," replied the latter. " Why, they keep 
two men who don't do nuthin' but write rejected 
manuscript ! " 



BALL-POINTED 







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36 



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STATIONERS AND DEALERS IN LEATHER GOODS, 

83 and 85 ?ftnion gtreet, aBEKDEEfl. 

Telephone 722. Established 1785, 




No. 39. 



November, 1897, 



Price One Penny. 




IN RAMBLE = LAND. 

SOME BON-ACCORD WORTHIES. 

No. I. 

AM old enough to forget, yet 
not too young to remember, 
the rejoicings in Aberdeen on 
the ioth of March, 1863, the 
occasion being the marriage of 
the Prince of Wales to Princess 
Alexandra of Denmark. There 
was a great firework display 
conducted by the members of 
the Shore Porters' Society on 
Castle Street, opposite the old 
Town House. The display was 
a monstre one for the time, and so effective, 
in so far as I was personally concerned, that 
some of the sparks from a rocket fired went 
into my eyes and 
"The subsequent proceedings interested me no more." 

I began my business life in Broad Street 
almost opposite to where the bookseller's 
shop of Mr. William Russell was wont to be. 
The shop is now part of Messrs. Sangster 
and Henderson's premises. Mr. Russell's 
was then, and had been for a considerable 
period, the booking office for the Theatre 
Royal, Marischal Street. Even at this dis- 
tance of time I can conjure up the tall, erect, 
and gentlemanly figure and presence of the 
proprietor of that famous shop. Mr. Russell 
had the monopoly of the periodical business 
in Aberdeen. All the cheap literature of the 



day found a place in Mr. Russell's, from 
"Dick Turpin," or "Three-fingered Jack," 
to " Dick's Sixpenny Shakespeare," perhaps 
the most marvellous production of any age 
before or since. It seemed to me that the 
great secret of his success was his close and 
never-failing attention to business, coupled 
with a courtesy to even the poorest customer 
who patronized him that could not possibly 
have been excelled. At that time Mr. Wm. 
Lindsay was making headway in a similar 
line of business in the Gallowgate. And it is 
no discredit to Mr. Lindsay's energy and per- 
severance that Mr. Russell's business mantle 
fell on his shoulders, and that he has since 
so worthily worn it. 

It was no great wonder (considering how 
closely he was brought in touch with the 
profession) that Mr. Russell should be looked 
upon as an authority on matters theatrical. 
Daily, from about 12 o'clock onwards, his 
shop was the rendezvous of most of the 
members of the sock and buskin who might 
happen to be located in Bon-Accord. Here 
it was I first saw the famous Mrs. Pollock off 
the stage. The stately, almost queenly, bear- 
ing of this charming old lady was as notice- 
able on the street as it was on the boards. I 
had the good fortune, too, to be " up " in 
time to see the great actress in two of her 
most famous impersonations — those of Lady 
Macbeth and Helen Macgregor. What a 
thrill ran round the little " old house " in the 
sleep-walking scene, when Mrs. Pollock was 
on ! And, again, as she posed majestically 
on the canvas-hewn rock in the Western 
Highlands and declaimed the memorable 



3« 



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82 Union Street, Aberdeen. 



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ELECTRIC LIGHT, TELEPHONE, & BELL TITTER, 

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PERSONAL ATTENTION TO ALL ORDERS. 



Brown's Book-Stall. 



39 



words : — " What seek ye in the land of the 
Macgregors ? " What a wild tumult of 
applause was wont to follow the opening 
speech. But, I digress. 

A notable feature of Mr. Russell's business 
suavity is fixed in my memory. No matter 
how busily he might have been engaged in 
conversation with theatrical celebrities of the 
time, he was ever ready to pay attention to 
even the boy who, with the humble " brown " 
in his hand demanded a copy of "The Boys 
of England," or " The Apprentices of Lon- 
don." I was a frequent customer, chiefly 
for "change for a pound, please," and I can 
honestly say I never went away without 
getting it if Mr. Russell was in the shop. 
And many a pat on the head I got from the 
kindly old gentleman, and many a good word of 
advice too. He it was who inculcated upon 
me the warning never to take change from 
anybody without carefully counting it before 
leaving. Mr. Russell was a tall, portly, white- 
haired man with a soft sympathetic voice. 
He was invariably dressed in a black suit 
consisting of trousers, an open vest display- 
ing a wealth of spotless white shirt front, a 
Gladstone collar with black stock, and a well- 
made frock coat. He wore a gold watch and 
a long chain attached to it which went round 
his neck and hung gracefully on his breast. 
His face was a study of quiet satisfaction 
and benignity, a sweet smile playing around 
the small, firm mouth. His relations with 
business people were of the most cordial 
description, and the name of William Russell 
was never mentioned in my hearing but with 
the deepest veneration. 

Broad Street, at the time I write, was full 
of old worthies. It was essentially a street of 
boots and shoes. From Handyside's, near 
Steele the hatter's corner of Union Stree f , to 
St. Catherine's Wynd, every shop was 
tenanted by a shoemaker. Among famous 
citizens whose places of business were in 
Broad Street, I may first of all mention Mr. 
James Clark, the Laird of Louisville in later 
times. Mr. Clark was a bookseller of the 
old school. As far as my recollection goes 
he did not touch periodical literature, his 
wares being of a more solid and substantial 
character. He occupied the shop now 



tenanted by Mr. Adam Pratt, and his two 
Broad Street windows were chiefly notable 
for their somewhat mixed style of "dressing." 
Works of history lay side by side with 
ledgers, day-books, school books, and general 
fiction. I bought my first copy of the " Life 
of Sir William Wallace," written and compiled 
by the celebrated Miss Jane Porter, out of 
Mr. Clark's shop. But he was not content 
with selling books ; he was also a hard salt- 
fish merchant, and well do I remember 
assisting to " coup " a hurley-load of these 
monsters of the deep at his door in St. 
Catherine's Wynd. He had no great love 
for the boys of the time, and truth to tell, 
the boys did not worship the genial old soul 
— hence the practical jokes frequently played 
upon him. Mr. Clark was an inveterate 
snuffer, and his constant companions were 
the "mull" and a turkey-red pocket-hand- 
kerchief of huge dimensions. In appearance 
this old worthy was somewhat decrepit. 
Slender, and much stooped, with a rather 
severe face, emphasised by a drooping under 
lip, Mr Clark tottered rather than walked, 
and altogether gave one the impression that 
he should have been out of business cares 
and worries. 

Mr. George Shepherd, another bookseller, 
brother to Mr. Simpson Shepherd, a wine 
m rchant in Aberdeen, was an elderly gentle- 
man who did not seem to do a great amount 
of business, from the fact that he was usually 
found standing in his shop door, with his 
coat off, waiting for customers. He was a 
clean looking old man whose shirt sleeves 
and apron were invariably as white as the 
driven snow. He had a small shop at the 
corner of Huxter Row, where the Municipal 
Buildings now stand. " George " Shepherd, 
as he was universally called, was not very 
successful in business, principally on account 
of his being somewhat old-fashioned, and he 
was ultimately " elbowed out " by his younger 
and more modern brethren. 

Mr. George Stephen, a thick-set old 
gentleman, occupied a baker's shop directly 
opposite to where I was employed. Mr. 
Stephen did a thriving trade, and was a 
considerable favourite in the street. His 
" maik's worth " of broken bread could 



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compare favourably with that of any other 
baker's in town of my acquaintance, with 
perhaps one notable exception — Mr. Wm. 
Webster, at the corner of Skene Terrace and 
Skene Street. The latter gentleman generally 
added some bits of broken " chessers " in 
addition to the mutilated biscuits. Mr. 
Stephen's shop is indelibly fixed in my mind 
from a somewhat interesting circumstance. 
It was there I met my first sweetheart ! The 
young lady was reputedly a niece of Mr. 
Stephen's, and she rejoiced in the name of 
Amelia — " Meelie " for short. But, 

" The best laid schemes o' mice an' men 
Gang aft agley," 

and so it came about that another good 
citizen cut me out and married my first love. 
She was a bonnie lass, and she is no less 
pretty as a wife and mother. It was no 
difficult matter to know when Mr. Stephen 
was in a good humour, not that I ever saw him 
anything else but contented like. But, in the 
afternoons he was wont to come through to 
the front shop from the bakehouse behind, 
and promenade from one counter to another 
whistling quietly to himself. Then was the 
time to do business with him ! 

Yet another well-known figure in that 
historic street was that of Mr. Robert 
Hughes, engraver and lithographer. He 
occupied the shop and large premises behind, 
extending along part of Rettie's Lane on the 
one side, and Chronicle Court on the other — 
the number of the house being 30. Mr. 
Hughes was a fine, gentlemanly looking man, 
about 40 years of age. He was fair-haired, 
clean-shaven, all but a slight fringe of herring- 
bone whiskers on each cheek. He was 
always attired in faultless clothing, consisting, 
in summer at least, of light-coloured trousers, 
white vest, dark surtout coat, and white 
" tall " hat, with a deep black band round it. 
Mr. Hughes was the possessor of a lovely 
tenor voice, with which he was always ready 
to entertain his fellow-citizens at the many 
amateur concerts held in those days. He 
was for some time precentor of the Free 
West Church, when Rev. Dr. Davidson was 
the minister, and it is a circumstance probably 
worthy of note that the writer of these 



" rambles " was an apprentice of Mr. Hughes's, 
and at a later period occupied the position of 
leader of psalmody in the same church for a 
number of years. Mr. Hughes kept closely 
in touch with the musical profession, and 
was an enthusiastic Free-mason. In the 
former connection he numbered among his 
more intimate musical friends such artistes 
as Miss Helen Kirk, Miss Bessie Aitken, 
Miss Fanny Edwards, Mr. Harry Clifton, 
the best " comic " singer I ever heard, 
Master Willie Pape, a famous blind 
pianist, Mr. Henry Drayton, a basso of 
renown, and the great Herr Formes, the 
composer, it is said, of " In Sheltered Vale." 
Mr. Hughes in an incredibly short time built 
up for himself a splendid business, but was 
cut down in the prime of life — he was 
only 42 when he died — the result of a bad 
cold caught while riding on the top of an 
omnibus to open a new Masonic lodge at 
Ballater. Mr. John Macmahon, photo- 
grapher, Union Street, and Mr. George Robb, 
lithographer, Adelphi, were working journey- 
men lithographers with Mr. Hughes during 
the time I was there. 

Frank Clements. 



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SIGDOFGneBRUSb^PeO 

Being some notes On the 

Black and White Artists 

of to day 



43 



/I 



No. 3— MR. WALTER SICKERT. 




HE ubiquity of the Scot is 
proverbial : so also is that 
of the Aberdonian — only 
more so. Most famous 
people come from Scot- 
land, or, still better, from 
Aberdeen, and it some- 
how detracts from their 
fame if they don't. This 
being so, it is rather 
irritating to find a man of 
such note as Mr. Walter 
Sickert who does not own up to having any connection 
with Bon-Accord, or even with Scotland generally. 
He has not, so far as I know, ever had a relative — not 
even a great-aunt — who once rented a shooting-box at 
Cults, and it says much for his perseverance, in these 
days when the Kail-yard is omnipotent, that he has 
managed to outlive the fact, and still succeed in attain- 
ing no inconsiderable degree of fame, though it will be 
readily admitted, by the " Celtic fringe" at all events, 
that he would have been a greater man than even he 
now is had an unrelenting Providence not assigned to 
him the ungrateful role of playing the part of the 
inevitable exception which proves the rule that all great 
men are Scotsmen. It affords considerable comfort to 
the writer, however, as it doubtless will to the future 
historian of the Scottish nation, as well as to Mr. 
Sickert himself, to think that the defect is in a measure 
about to be remedied, for henceforth the victim of these 
notes will always be able when questioned as to how 
it came about that a man of his ability had no connec- 
tion with the North, to turn upon his Inquisitor and 
(if he be a Scotsman) rend him, by stating in as many 
words that there once was an individual who had 
written no small amount of rubbish —he needn't be at 
a. loss for the word — with a view to conferring that — 



and here "the green-eyed monster" not inappropriately 
creeps in — very questionable honour upon him. How- 
ever, I have done my best to thrust greater fame upon 
Mr. Sickert, and if he will still, Cincinnatus-like, stick 
to his plough, mine be it not to question why, but merely 
to go on with the music, a proceeding which the gentle 
reader has doubtless long ere now, and with many 
maledictions on my discursiveness, desired that I 
should. 

It is nevertheless unfortunate, seeing that he has 
turned out an artist of unquestionable skill and 
necessarily, therefore, one who has been considerably 
abused, that Mr. Sickert should have, in i860, been 
born in Munich. The year is unimportant, save to 
shew that he is still a young man, but the place itself 
is disappointing. Why should a man persist in being 
born at Munich when Aberdeen is still open to him ? 
True, he might, like Mr. Gilbert's Major-General 

. . have been a Rooshian, 

A Frenchman, Turk, or Prooshian, 

Or even an I-tal-ian, 

but it would have been much more sensible had he 
been content with a birth-place nearer home. He 
realised at an early age, however, the enormity of his 
offence, and took the first favourable opportunity of 
becoming as good a Briton as circumstances would 
permit. 

It would have been strange indeed had he not been 
an artist, for his father and his grandfather before him 
were such, while his brother, Mr. Bernhard Sickert, 
is also a painter of note. He is the eldest son of 
Oswald Adelbert Sickert, a member of the Munich 
Academy, an exhibitor at the Royal Academy, and a 
draughtsman on the staff of that extremely clever 
Continental comic Fliegende Blatter. He was educated 
at Bayswater Collegiate School and King's College, 
London, and subsequently studied art at the Slade 



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Part I. will be published on Friday, October 29th. 



A PICTORIAL LIFE OF NELSON. 

On Trafalgar Day (October 21st), a double number of the Navy and Army Illustrated 
will be published in connection with the celebration of Trafalgar Day. This number, which 
will be printed in two colours, and produced in the style which the Navy and Army 
ILLUSTRATED has made its own, will be entitled : 

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and will be a pictorial record of the Great Admiral, his life and achievements. There will be 
more than One Hundred Illustrations, representing the principal episodes in the great 
1 areer, or portraits of his companions and contemporaries. 

GEO. NEWNES, LtlTTtoT^ Southampton^treet, Strand. 




FROM AN ORIGINAL SKETCH 
BY MR. WALTER SICKERT. 



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49 



School — that birth-place of so many famous black and 
white men — under Professor LegroS (a master of 
technique)^ under Mr. Otto Scholderer at Putney, at 
Heatherley's, Newman Street, and under the immortal 
"Whistler (with whom, as will be shewn later, he was 
to have a gentle and joyous passage-at-arms in the Law 
Courts) at Tite Street, Chelsea. Doubtless each of 
these would be proud to claim him as an " Old Boy," 
but it is the influence of Whistler which has left its 
mark most deeply on Mr. Sickert's work, for his draw- 
ings are characterised by much of the filmy, suggestive 
and mysterious manner of the great Jimmy. 




MR. WALTER SICKERT. 
Fro hi a Drawing by Himselj. 

It was in the Galleries of the Royal Society of 
British Artists that his work first attracted attention. 
Here he exhibited annually for some years oil paintings 
of scenes at Dieppe, notably those ladies in crinolines 
in his "Hotel Royal, Dieppe," and here also were 
first shown the series of pictures of the London Music 
Halls which brought him no inconsiderable amount of 
notice, and among which was the well-known " L'on 
Comique," now in the possession of Mr. Brandon 
Thomas. He has also, at the request of the Societe 



des Vingt, been represented at their exhibition in the 
Musee Royale at Brussels ; was made a fellow of the 
Painter-Etchers' Society, at whose " shows " he was 
an annual exhibitor until his resignation ; and was also 
elected a member of the New English Art Club, 
an institution which gave the first definite expression 
to a change which had come over English art, and 
at which most of his work, until his resignation this 
year, has been shewn. Here he exhibited the well- 
known portrait of Mr. Bradlaugh, painted from life, 
which was subsequently purchased by the National 
Liberal Club, in which it now hangs side by side with 
many other portraits of noted politicians by famous 
painters. He is also the painter of a posthumous 
portrait of Mr. Bradlaugh at the Bar of the House of 
Commons, for the execution of which he was com- 
missioned by the Secular Society of Manchester. 
The head of this picture was done from a photograph, 
and was spoken of by one of the critics as "all of a 
dirty, waxy, messy, blacky, browny-green, yet a 
dignified and even a pathetic picture which ought to 
belong to the nation." 

One of Mr. Sickert's pet subjects, however, is Mr. 
George Moore, the well-known art critic and author 
of the famous " Esther Waters," as also of that 
valuable and able work on present-day art " Modern 
Painting" (published by Walter Scott). A portrait of 
this gentleman had what Mr. Sickert with a quiet 
chuckle — for he is a man who is not easily daunted, 
and can take hard knocks as well as give them — calls 
a succes d' execration. If this did not dishearten the 
artist, however, it might easily have frightened the 
subject, but Mr. Moore " faced the music" with com- 
placency, the outcome being that Mr. Sickert has 
painted him in oils, has done a pen and ink drawing 
of him for a number of the Cambridge Observer, 
another of the same for the Pall Mall Budget, and, 
recently, a cartoon which appeared in Vanity Fair. 
Apropos to his fondness for Mr. Moore as a victim 
for his brush or pen, Mr. Sickert tells a story of how 
he was once introduced to a sculptor, who greeted him 
with the question, " Do you do much besides George 
Moore?" 

A few years ago he organized and contributed to an 
exhibition called the London Impressionists, at the 
Goupil Galleries, to which most of the better known 
Impressionists sent pictures. As the artists represented 
form rather a historical group I give the names of the 
ten — Francis Bate, Fred Brown, Francis James, Paul 
Fordyce, Maitland, Theodore Roussel, Bemhard 



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Sickert, Walter Sickert, Sidney Starr, P. Wilson Stter, 
and George Thomson. On that occasion he exhibited 
the " Old Oxford Music Hall," and that delightful bit of 
work, " Little Dot Hetherington," both of which were 
subsequently reproduced in the Yellow Book, to the 
pages of which, in its earlier and happier days, Mr. 
Sickert was an occasional contributor. In conjunction 
with his brother he also held an exhibition at the 
Dutch Gallery, under Mr. J. E. Van Wisselingh, in 
which was included a sketch in distemper of Mr. 
Aubrey Beardsle^ , subsequently also published in the 
Yellow Book, and now in the possession of the latter 
artist. He was also associated with Mr. Herbert 
Vivian in the production of the now almost historical 
Whirlwind, being responsible for the portraits which 
appeared in its pages ; while to Vanity Fair he has 
given three cartoons — George Moore, Zangwill, 
and Max Beerbohm, signed "Sic." 

It was in April of this year, however, that Mr. 
Sickert came prominently under the notice of the man 
in the street ; when he defended, with Mr. Frank 
Harris, the Editor ox the Saturday Review, an action 
raised by Mr. Joseph Pennell, in which the latter asked 
for damages to the extent of ^"iooo for libel. The 
case resolved itself into the conundrum— When is a 
lithograph not a lithograph ? Mr. Sickert held that it 
couldn't fairly be called such when it was drawn on 
transfer paper and not directly on the stone, a 
technical point in which the Council of the Royal 
Academy, the jury of the Salon, and the practice of 
the Bibliotheque Nationale were in thorough agree- 
ment with him. He does not deny, however, that 
there was no justification for singling out Mr. 
Pennell to emphasise his opinion, and heard with 
complacency the verdict of £zp damages and costs 
given in Mr. PennelPs favour. The case was remark- 
able for the large amount of expert evidence brought 
to bear on the point, and will long be remembered by 
Mr. Whistler's appearance in the box, when that 
worthy rose to the occasion in the most approved 
fashion. Mr. Sickert had somewhat sarcastically 
referred to Mr. Whistler in the article complained of, 
which concluded thusly : — 

These drawings of Mr. Pennell's are skilful, and would make 
nice illustrations in a book, but they are not quite important 
enough for the parade of rough paper and forty frames. Mr. 
Whistler is a genius. His lightest utterance is inspired. If 
it please him to touch for a moment any instrument, pure or 
debased, he conjures from it celestial harmonies. Mr. Whistler's 
almost nothings are priceless. His smallest change is golden. 
But he must not help Mr. Pennell to debase the currency. 



The soul of the Butterfly was stirred and his 
appearance in the witness box was the signal for some 
capital sport. I take the following from the Daily 
Chronicle report of the case, for it is worthy of more 
lasting preservation than is likely to be obtained in the 
columns of a daily paper. 

MR. WHISTLER'S OPINION. 

Cross-examined by Mr. Bigham : His grievance in this 
matter was the accusation that he (Mr. Whistler) pursued the 
same evil practice. 

You are very angry with Mr. Sickert? — (yuith supreme in- 
difference) Oh, no; not in the faintest degree. (Laughter). 
Distinguished persons like ourselves are attacked by an 
absolutely unknown authority. (Laughter). 

Then Mr. Sickert is an insignificant and irresponsible person, 
who could do nobody any harm? — I think a fool could do harm. 
(Laughter). Whatever harm can be done to Mr. Pennell can be 
done to me. It is a question for all artists. 

But Mr. Sickert says you are a genius? — It is a very simple 
and proper thing for him to say that sort of thing. (Laughter). 

He says your highest utterance is inspired. You do not 
object to that? — Go on, read it all. (Laughter). 

Mr. Bigham (reading) "Mr. Whistler's nothings are almost 
priceless" — they do cost a deal of money. (Laughter). 

Mr Whistler bowed assent amidst a shout of merriment. He 
added that it was a most impertinent piece of insolence tainted 
with a certain obsequious reproach. (Laughter). 

Is this your action? — I am afraid if Mr. Pennell had not 
taken these proceedings I should. 

You are working together then ? — We are on the same side. 

Are you bearing any part of these costs? — No, but I am 
quite willing. (Laughter). 

Sir E. Clarke : Is there any foundation for that suggestion ? — 
Only the lightness and delicacy of the counsel's suggestion. 
(Lau hter). 

Mr. Sickert has for some years kept a life school, 
and several of his pupils have come to the front. He 
has also been an occasional writer on Art matters in 
the Speaker, the Saturday Review, the Academy, the 
Fortnightly, the Daily Chronicle, the Artist, the 
Studio, and that clever Parisian publication La 
Lithographic Of late, however, he has abandoned 
teaching and criticism entirely for the practice of the 
Art whose difficulties and attractions he finds 
sufficiently engrossing to absorb all his time and 
energies. 

I have left but little space in which to say anything 
of Mr. Sickert's own work, characteristic specimens 
of which, through his courtesy, we are able to give in 
this issue. Its outstanding features are its marked in- 
dividuality, its lack of convention, and the skill, little 
short of marvellous, with which the artist is able to 
produce the most striking and convincing results by 



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what is apparently but the slightest effort on his part, 
and the most economical use of lines. A good 
instance of this will be found in the drawing 
"The Little Canal,' which we give as a supplement, 
while as illustrative of Mr. Sickert's clever portraiture 
we are fortunate in being able to repro luce a draw- 
ing of himself from his own pen. It is impossible, 
however, by means of a printed description to convey 
adequately a satisfactory impression of his original, 
daring, and brilliant methods, but to those who 
appreciate really good black and white art, it may be 
of interest to know that Mr. Sickert has lately become 
his own publisher and his own dealer, and that his 
etchings and lithographs can only be obtained at his 
Studio, 13 Robert Street, Cumberland Market, Lon- 
don, to which all enquiries should be addressed. He 
is at present, I may mention, engaged on a new portrait 
of charming Miss Minnie Cunningham, one of the 
brightest stars in the Music Hall firmament, and of 
whom • he painted some years ago a very charming 
portrait in red as she appeared when singing on the 
stage of the Tivoli. Which brings to my mind, while 
thinking of the utter futility of endeavouring t > con- 
vey by means of the written word a satisfactory idea 
of Mr. Sickert's style or method, one of Miss 
Cunningham's clever songs. She puts the matter in a 
nutshell when, in her customary bewitching manner, 
she lays down the obiter dictum that 

You may be as cunning as a tricky little fox, 

But — you can't tell cigars by the picture on the box. 

J. G. R. 



SCOTCH FOLK. 

The story goes that the minister of one of what 
Robert Louis Stevenson called the " bonny U.P. 
Kirks " was visiting an old woman who was wearing 
away to the land of the leal. And in the course of 
his exhortations he said that it behooved her to be 
sorry for her sins. " Na, na," she replied. " I wat 
I'm nae needin' tae be sorry for ma sins. They're a 
aboot in the warl' and deem' weel. I wish the lassies 
were deein' as weel. Na, I'm nae sorry for ma sins !" 

A widow whose husband was supposed just to have 
died, after weeping a little, suddenly turned her 
attention to the question who should make the 
coffin, coming to the conclusion that a certain Wully 



Paterson should get the job, upon whi :h she was 

amazed to hear her "dead" husband moaning forth — 
"If ye get that crater Wully Paterson to inak the 
coffin I'll no pit a fit in't." 

A correspondent sends us the following true story — 
While strolling thro' a cemetery not many miles from 
Aberdeen, I got into conversation with the grave- 
digger, an old man of about 70, and the part of the 
Cemetery which interested me chiefly, was what 
looked like a vault beneath the ruins of an old 
chapel, approached by a flight of steps, now boarded 
over. The old man informed me that this was not 
a vault, but was a relic of the Resurrec ionist days, 
and, in his own words, he informed me that he " had 
kent mony a man lie there for a while an' syne gae 
aff till his ain place," entirely of his own volition as 
it would seem. I was curious to know something of 
the internal economy of such a house of refuge, and 
asked him if there had been any arrangement of 
shelves for the temporary accommodation of these 
birds of passage. " Na," he said, " there was nae 
shelves : there was a row o' uprichts wi' rowlers 
atween them, an' we laid the tae en' o' the coffin 
upon the rowler an' syne birlt them ben.'''' As the old 
man said it, one could almost imagine the corpse as 
thoroughly enjoying the exhilaration of being " birlt 
ben." 

Here is another true story from Ythanside. A 
neighbour had called in to condole with a woman 
whose husband had just died and found her enjoying 
a frugal meal. Replying to her neighbour's expression 
of sympathy with the loss she had sustained, she said 
— " Ay, I've been greetin', an' if I had this bread and 
milk suppit I'm gaen to greet again." 
-<» 

A lady who had attained a very advanced age, was 
visited by one who was kin but apparently less than 
kind. " Weel, ye're no deid yet,' 1 was his greeting, 
to which she naturally replied that she was " no 
deid." "Weel," said he " fan ye div' dee ye micht 
send me word ; no that I'm carin" bit I wad just like 
to ken." 



For Good Scotch Stories ^.<- <- 

Read CRAIG DAM 6f ITS MINISTERS 
by George Walker. Price Sixpence. 

A. Brown &■* Co., Publishers, Aberdeen. 



54 



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55 




R. L. STEVENSON. 

THE BOOK OF THE MONTH. 

T is difficult in some cases to say which is really 
the book of the month. It depends so much 
on the standard by which you measure it. 
If one were to judge by the sale, " The 
Christian " would probably take first place, 
but as literature it is not to be compared to "St. 
Ives," which comes as a good second — only another 
instance showing that popularity does not follow in 
proportion to merit. Not, mark you, that " St. Ives " 
has not sold well. It has, but " The Christian " has 
sold better. 

The perusal of " St. Ives " serves to emphasise the 
regret at the untimely death of Stevenson one felt on 
reading "Weir of Hermiston." They are, so far as 
they go, his best novels, though in different ways. 
In "Weir" there were indications of more strength 
than had been shown in any of his previous novels. 
In " St. Ives," again, the main charm is in the telling. 
Scarcely a page but contains some gem of expression, 
some quaint twinkle of Stevensonian humour that 
warms the heart. Apart from the manner, the tale is 
a good one, full of interest all through. 

It is unfortunately left unfinished by Stevenson, 
and the final chapteis have been written from notes 



left by Stevenson, by Quiller-Couch, better known 
perhaps as " Q.'' Some critics are inclined to find 
fault with his performance, but we would say he has 
accomplished a very difficult task well — very well 

considering that he had the misfortune to be born on 
the- wrong side of the Border. 

"ST. IVES," by R. L. Stevenson, cash price, 

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TWO ROYALISTS. 




T was a fine and 
fruitful device of 
Plutarch's to com- 
pare two by two 
the characters of 
the great men of 
antiquity whose 
biographies he 
wrote. In liter- 
ary criticism the 
practice, as em- 
ployed in his 
systematic manner, is perhaps not as much 
in use to-day as it might be. If ugliness 
and beauty, light and darkness, pleasure and 
pain have their characters rendered more 
patent by close contrast, the same will hold 
good, if in a less degree, in matters where 
the points of difference are more subtle and 
less obvious. The mere hint of a compari- 
son between two characters so diversely 
situated, both socially and geographically, as 
Edward Hyde Earl of Clarendon, and John 
Spalding, Commissary Clerk in Aberdeen, 
will, to those who know the men, at once 
suggest a number of points alike of resem- 
blance and of difference. 

One was a courtier and a statesman, the 
father-in-law of a king, and lived his life in 
the theatre of publicity : the other was an 
obscure official in a remote town. One 
became a great name in the republic of 
English literature, and addressed the world 
on a theme of world-wide interest, discussing 



high state policy and describing battles and 
sieges : the other was a local annalist, a 
parochial gossip, recording the escapades of 
stout thieves and the reprisals of lawless 
lairds, and not disdaining to note the appear- 
ance in his native rivers of portents both 
geological and zoological. 

It is a far cry from the stately narrative of 
England's first great historian to passages 
like the following, which is typical of the 
manner as well as the matter of Clerk 
Spalding : — 

In the month of June there was seen in the river of 
Don a monster having a head like to a great mastiff 
dog, and hand, arms, and paps like a man, and the 
paps seemed to be white ; it had hair on the head, 
and its hinder parts was seen sometimes above the 
water, whilk seemed clubbish, short-legged, and short 
footed, with a tail. This monster was seen body-like 
swimming above the water about ten hours in the 
morning, and continued all day visible, swimming 
above and beneath the bridge, without any fear. The 
town's people of both Aberdeens came out in great 
multitudes to see this monster ; some threw stones, 
some shot guns and pistols, and the salmon fishers 
rowed cobles with nets to catch it, but all in vain. 
It never sinked nor feared, but would duck under 
water, snorting, and bullering, terrible to the hearers. 
It remained two days, and was seen no more : but it 
appears this monster came for no good token to noble 
Aberdeen, for sore was the samen oppressed with 
great troubles that fell in the land. 

Or this other, both of them from "The 
History of the Troubles and Memorable 
Transactions in Scotland, 1624-45 " : — 

Upon St. Stephen's day, the 26th of December 
(through great inundation of water) a bar or great 
bed of sand was wrought up and casten over-thwart 
the mouth of the river Dee, mixed with marle-clay 
and stones. This fearful bar so stopped the harbour 
mouth that no ship could go out or come in thereat ; 



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59 



and at low water a man might have passed on the bed 
dry-footed from the north shore to the bulwark. It 
amazed the haill people of Aberdeen, burgh and 
land ; they fell to with fasting, praying, mourning, 
weeping all day and night ; then they went out — 

Determined not to trust in Providence, on 
whom the people of Aberdeen have never 
depended save when there was no other way — 

with spades and shovels in great numbers, young and 
old to cast down this fearful bar, but all in vain ; for as 
fast as they threw down at low water, it gathered 
again at full sea. Then the people gave it over, and 
became heartless, thinking our sea trade and salmon 
fishing was like to be gone, and noble Aberdeen 
brought to destruction, and hastily advertised the 
haill coast-side, south and north, with this accident, 
that none of their ships should approach this harbour. 
But while they are at the pain of despair, the Lord of 
his great mercy removed clean away this bar, and the 
water did keep its own course as before, to t e great 
joy of the people of Aberdeen, and comfort of the 
people round about. But this bar came not for 
nought, but was a token of great troubles to fall upon 
both Aberdeens ; and it is to be remarked, that as 
there was fearful signs by water, so there was many 
high winds all this year — no good token more than 
the rest. 

But while, so far as I have seen, the 
historian of the "Rebellion" was quite above 
the amusing superstition visible in the fore- 
going passages, and although there are several 
other notable points of difference between 
Clarendon and Spalding, they have also 
many things in common. They were both 
writers at a time when men's hands knew the 
sword and the wassail cup better than the 
pen. They both lived through the same 
period ; in their different ways they both 
dealt with similar events in the same royalist, 
law-'n'-order spirit. To Spalding, as to 
Clarendon, the Civil War was the "rebellion" 
of a foolish and froward people against the 
divinely-ordained and appointed lord of the 
realm. Above all, and what most forcibly 
suggests comparison between them, they both 
excelled in personal portraitures, a species of 
writing now gone out of fashion, but irresist- 
ibly attractive to those who have " an eye for a 
man." I know of nothing in modern litera- 
ture to be compared to Spalding's portrait of 
the then Marquis of Huntly save Carlyle's 
portrait of Frederic, and that stands very 
much alone in the thirty odd volumes with 
which Thomas did homage to his doctrine of 



the value of silence. Moreover, Carlyle's 
was a sketch of Frederic's personal appear- 
ance, whereas Spalding's is a sketch of his 
man's personal character and habits of life, 
which are more essentially the real man 
after all : — 

This marquis was of great spirit, for in time of 
trouble he was of invincible courage, and boldly bare 
down all his enemies ; he was never inclined to war 
himself, but, by the pride and influence of his kin, 
was diverse times drawn into troubles, whilk he did 
bear through reliantly. He loved not to be in the 
law contending against any man, but loved rest and 
quietness with all his heart, and in time of peace he 
lived moderately and temperately in his diet, and fully 
set to building and planting of all curious devices ; a 
good neighbour in his marches — disposed rather to 
give than take a foot of ground wrongously : he was 
heard to say he never drew sword in his own quarrel : 
in his youth a prodigal spender ; in his old age more 
wise and worldly, yet never counted for cost in 
matters of credit and honour : a great householder : 
a terror to his enemies, whom he ever, with his pride- 
ful kin, held under subjection and obedience : just in 
all his bargains, and never heard for his true debt : he 
was mightily envied by the Kirk for his religion [he 
was a Roman Catholic], and by others for his great- 
ness, and had thereby much trouble : his mester King 
James loved him dearly, and he was a good and loyal 
subject unto him during the king's lifetime, but now 
at last in his latter days, by means of Frendraught, 
he is so persecuted by the laws (which he ay studied to 
hold in due reverence), that he is compelled to travel 
without pity so often to Edinburgh, and now end his 
days out of his own house, without trial of the fire of 
Frendraught, whilk doubtless was an help to his 
death . . . 

That, I say, is not to be easily or often 
matched in modern literature ; but those who 
know their Clarendon may recall some things 
from the " History of the Rebellion " in 
which the same spirit of antique kindliness 
finds expression in a different form of words. 
What one admires in douce Clerk Spalding 
is his terse naivete, which is neither in keep- 
ing with what we are accustomed to expect 
of the legal official mind nor with the wordy 
periphrasis of the time. In this he presents 
a distinct contrast to his illustrious English 
contemporary, who in the following passages, 
describing the character and death of his 
friend Lord Falkland, writes with a loving 
loquacity, a wealth of detail, a verbal intensity 
which mark him out as a national antitype 
to the Scots writer. 



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If the celebrating the memory of eminent and 
extraordinary persons, and transmitting their great 
virtues for the imitation of posterity be one of the 
principal ends and duties of history, it will not be 
thought impertinent, in this place, to remember a loss 
which no time will suffer to be forgotten, and no 
success or good fortune could repair. In this unhappy 
1 uittle was slain the Lord Viscount Falkland ; a person 
of such prodigious parts of learning and knowledge, 
of that inimitable sweetness and delight in conversa- 
tion, of so flowing and obliging a humanity and good- 
ness to mankind, and of that primitive simplicity and 
integrity of life, that if there were no other brand 
upon this odious and accursed Civil War than that 
single loss, it must be most infamous and execrable to 
all posterity. 

He was a great cherisher of wit and fancy and 
good parts in any man ; and if he found them clouded 
with poverty or want, a most liberal and bountiful 
patron towards them, even above his fortune ; of 
which, in those administrations, he was such a 
dispenser as if he had been trusted with it to such 
uses ; and if there had been the least of vice in his 
expence, he might have been thought too prodigal. 
He was constant and pertinacious in whatsoever he 
resolved to do, and not to be wearied by any pains 
that were necessary to that end. And therefore, 
having once resolved not to see London, which he 
loved above all places, till he had perfectly learned 
the Greek tongue, he went to his own house in the 
country, and pursued it with that indefatigable 
industry, that it will not be belie\ ed in how short a 
time he was master of it, and accurately read all the 
Greek historians. 

In this time, his house being within little more than 
ten miles of Oxford, he contracted familiarity and 
friendship with the most polite and accurate men of 
that University ; who found such an immenseness of 
wit and such a solidity of judgment in him, so in- 
finite a fancy, bound in by a most logical ratiocination, 
such a vast knowledge that he was not ignorant in 
anything, yet such an excessive humility, as if he had 
known nothing, that they frequently resorted and 
dwelt with him, as in a college situated in a purer 
air ; so that his house was a university in a less 
volume ; whither they came not so much for repose as 
study ; and to examine and refine those grosser pro- 
positions which laziness and consent made current in 
vulgar conversation. 

He was superior to all those passions and affections 
which attend vulgar minds, and was guilty of no other 
ambition than of knowledge, and to be reputed a 
lover of all good men ; and that made him too much 
a contemner of those arts which must be indulged in 
the transactions of human affairs. 

He had a courage of the most clear and keen 
temper, and so far from fear that he seemed not 
without some appetite of danger ; and, therefore, 
upon any occasion of action he always engaged his 
person in those troops which he thought, by the 
forwardness of the commanders, to be most like to be 



farthest engaged ; and in all such encounters he had 
about him an extraordinary cheerfulness, without at 
all affecting the execution that usually attended them ; 
in which he took no delight, but took pains to 
prevent it where it was not, by resistance, made 
necessary : insomuch that at Kdgehill, when the 
enemy was routed, he was like to have incurred great 
peril by interposing to save those who had thrown 
away their arms, and against whom, it may be, others 
were more fierce for their having thrown them away : 
so that a man might think he came into the field 
chiefly out of curiosity to see the face of danger, and 
charity to prevent the shedding of blood. . . . 

From the entrance into this unnatural war his 
natural cheerfulness and vivacity grew clouded, and a 
kind of sadness and dejection of -pirit stole upon 
him, which he had never been used to ; ... In 
his cloaths and habit, which he had minded before 
always with more neatness and industry and expense 
than is usual to so great a soul, he was now not only 
incurious, but too negligent ; and in his reception of 
suitors and the necessary or casual addresses to his 
place, so quick and sharp and severe, that there 
wanted not some men (strangers to his nature and 
disposition) who believed him proud and imperious ; 
from which no mortal man was ever more free. 

This extract is already long — perhaps too 
long; but I feel that I must give the con- 
clusion of the account. Apart from its old- 
world beauty and interest, I have reason to 
believe, after a long and vain search for the 
book in Aberdeen in the days prior to my 
banishment, that there are not half-a-dozen 
copies of Clarendon in the Oxford of the 
North. So I shall not be quoting from a 
book which is on everyone's shelves, as 
Macaulay complains o r somebody doing. 

When there was any overture or hope of peace, he 
would be more erect and vigorous, and exceedingly 
solicitous to press any thing which he thought might 
promote it ; and sitting among his friends, often, 
after a deep silence and frequent sighs, would, with 
a shrill and sad accent, ingeminate the word Peace, 
peace; and would passionately profess " That the 
very agony of the war, and the view of the calamities 
and desolation which the kingdom did and must 
endure, took his sleep from him and would shortly 
break his heart." This made some think, or pretend 
to think, that " He was so much enamoured of peace 
that he would have been glad the King should have 
bought it at any price" ; which was a most unreason- 
able calumny. As if a man that was himself the most 
punctual and precise in every circumstance that might 
reflect upon conscience or honour could have wished 
the King to have committed a trespass against 
either. And yet this senseless scandal made some 
impression upon him, or at least he used it for an 
excuse of the daringness of his spirit ; for at the 



62 



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<">3 



Leagued before Gloucester, when his friend passion- 
ately reprehended him for exposing his person 
unnecessarily to danger (for he delighted to visit the 
trenches and nearest approaches, and to discover 
what the enemy did), as being so much beside the 
duty of his place that it might be understood rather to 
be against it, he would say merrily, " That his office 
could not take away the privilege of his age ; and 
that a Secretary-in-War might be present at the 
greatest secret of danger " ; but withal alleged 
seriously, " That it concern'd him to be more active 
in enterprises of hazard than other men ; that all 
might see that his impatiency for peace proceeded 
not from pusillanimity, or fear to adventure his person. " 
In the morning before the battle, as always upon 
action, he was very cheerful, and put himself into the 
first rank of the Lord Byron's regiment, then 
advancing upon the enemy, who lined the hedges on 
both sides with musqueteers ; from whence he was 
shot with a musquet in the lower part of the belly, 
and in the instant falling from his horse, his body 
was not found till the next morning ; till when there 
was some hope he might have been a prisoner ; 
though his nearest friends, who knew his temper, 
received small comfort from that imagination. Thus 
fell that incomparable young man in the four-and- 
thirtieth year of his age, having so much dispatch'd 
the true business of life, that the eldest rarely attain 
to that immense knowledge, and the youngest enter 
not into the world with more innocency : whoever 
leads such a life needs be the less anxious upon 
how short warning it is taken from him. {Hist. Rebel. , 
Folio Ed., Bk. vii., p. 351-4.) 

The two chronicles are unlike, but is there 
not a likeness in their unlikeness ? 

The man who underrates his own time 
runs the risk of being classed with the ill 
bird that fouls its own nest ; but of many of 
the notable young knights of the pen who are 
in such request at the libraries nowadays I 
am prepared to maintain that their best work 
is artificial niggling in comparison with the 
elemental force and simple, truthful, 
garrulousness of these veterans. There is 
all the difference in the world between 
evolving fearful and wonderful men and 
" situations " out of your own inner 
consciousness, and describing the great men 
you have known and the great events in 
which you have borne a part ; and the 
difference, from a literary point ol view, is all 
in favour of the latter. Literature has become 
a profession, some of whose followers take 
" orders " for forty tales at a time, and in 
the depths of pathos (or bathos), and the 
height of epic grandeur, our modern literary 
journeyman has an eye on the book market 



and an ear for the reviewers. The writing of 
Edward Hyde and John Spalding is the 
gossip of old neighbours about old neighbours. 
To the discriminating, they should retain 
their charm so long as men care to know of 
"eminent and extraordinary persons/' as 
described by their sage and experienced 
compeers. 

Watching the spawning of spurious books 
from the press to-day, one cannot help 
marvelling that no publisher has the taste 
and enterprise to publish popular editions of 
" The History of the Rebellion," and of 
" The Troubles and Memorable Transac- 
tions." If truth is stranger than fiction, 
surely truth so delightfully told needs only to 
be known to be appreciated beyond the 
threadbare romances of modern novelists at 
sea for a plot and situations. What a sorry 
mistake is the notion that a book must be 
dull because it is old ; that the colours of a 
dead artist in words must be drab because 
the binding of his book is sombre calf! 
Without stopping to think, one could fill a 
folio page with the names of old books that 
are veritable mines of literary wealth. Man- 
kind has learned much as it has grown 
older ; but it has forgotten some things in 
learning others, and one of the things it has 
forgotten is the freshness and garrulous 
simplicity of the old diction. To the 
tendency to prune and trim and convention- 
alise the Saxon tongue, the writings of these 
two old royalists form a fine antidote. 

James Leatham. 

Manchester, August, 1897. 



Six Etchings 

of Local Scenery, 

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Or in Cloth Gilt, 1/6. 



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83 and 8s Union Street, Aberdeen 



64 



Brown's Book-Stall. 




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65 



From the Ledger of A. Brown & Co. 
3.— A BALLAD OF A POET MA(I)DE. 

I With the customary apologies to the Author of a 
" Ballad of a Poet Born" and others of the same.] 

When first I met our Sarah Jane, 

A simple servant girl was she, 
Her manner mild, complexion plain, 

And not a trace of bellelettrie. 

From Martinmas to Whitsuntide 

She shone the plate upon the door, 
Her patient knees she daily plied 

In scrubbing out the kitchen floor. 

From Whitsuntide to Martinmas 

There came a weird, uncanny change ; 

Things reached a very pretty pass — 
She burst the boiler of the range. 




From a drawing by Mr T. E. Donnison. 
By kind permission of the Proprietor of The Golden Penny. 

Her cheeks once ruddy as the rose, 
Now day by day grew wondrous pale ; 

She read " My Lady of the Snows," 
She spurned the homely dish of kail. 

Her raven hair worn a la /node, 

Now long and longer daily grew, 
She wrestled with I he Poet's " Code," 

She even studied Bain and Drew. 



On her the Muse would cast a spell 
While yet she made the beds, and lo 

She'd give the World a Vilanelle, 
A Ballad, Triolet or Rondeau. 

The adventurous moon sailed o'er the sky, 
An earthquake came on unawares ; 

The city people (always dry) 

Within a pub. forgot their cares. 

The wheat crop of the world failed, 
The herring fishing went to pot : 

And yet their faces never paled, 

They went their way and heeded not. 

The fight grew fiercer every day, 
One hardly could get bite or sup ; 

Some Free Kirk folks, inclined to pray, 
Remembered Klondyke and cheered up. 

The Tory party split in twain, 

Keir Hardie wept ; and that was all, 

The crowd took up the old refrain 
And carried on the carnival. 

Jane thought the end was surely nigh, 
" I will arise," she said, " and go, 

" A maid her fortune can but try 

" For worse or better — weal or woe." 

A " Ballad of a Bailie " she 

Composed while putting on her hat ; 

She locked her trunk, and kept the key, 
Then tied. And this verse ends with that. 

And then from out the crowd there came 
An Editor, who bade her cheer : 

" Seek'st thou," he said, " Immortal Fame ? 
" If so, write Ballad verse, my dear." 

She laid the Ballad at his feet, 

And then for days went off her food, 

Digesting praise was ample meat — 
Ineffable beatitude ! 

Next week the poem, on Friday morn, 
The life-blood of a paper drains ; 

The printer prayed he'd ne'er been born, 
The Editor blew out his brains. 

Fame now had come (as you can see), 
And thus she took the world by storm : 

She's sister now to Benachie, 
And sister too, to Cairngorm. 

Her Ballad verse was all the rage. 
Her autograph collectors sought ; 

She made her mark on Hist'ry's page, 
The Free Press on her " leaders" wrote. 

And yet her sorrows were not few 

St. Nicholas Bells pealed forth her praise- 
The Freedom of the City, too. 

Was given to her in those days. 



66 



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No wonder Fame began to pall — 

The ''Trades" presented an Address ; 

Hut what was really worst of all 
They put her portrait in the Express. 



For seven short days her fame remained, 

For seven each one her praises cried, 
Upon the eighth they all refrained. 

The rag she wrote for then had died. 



[. a r. 




Bicyclist— ■'• Oh dear me ! Pm awfully sorry ! I hope I haven't hurt you ! 
Er is there anything I " 

Lady — " Lor, sir, dontee take on about me ! I see yer a-comin' down the 
road, an' I knoo at wunst as yer was only a beginner !" 



[From a drawing by Mr. W. F. Thomas, by kind permission of Mr. Gilbert Dalziel, 
Proprietor of Slofers Half-Holiday.] 



68 



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73 




No. 4.— MR. W. F. THOMAS 




" River none may mollify ; 
Into it we throw 
Fool who cannot follify. 
Cock who will not crow.'' 

T this festive season of 
the year, when other- 
wise staid and 
elderly gentlemen re- 
new their youth like 
the eagle, and frivol 
with merry maids of 
seventeen under the 
mistletoe; when 
spinsters of unim- 
peachable propriety 
and uncertain age are induced to redeem a "forfeit" 
by calling their sweethearts' names three times up the 
chimney — to the confusion of the young curate, who 
thus finds greatness thrust upon him ; when Christmas 
Numbers with antediluvian jokes and "presentation 
plates " in sixteen distinct tints are as plentiful as the 
oft-quoted leaves of Vallombrosa or Dukes in 
Baratana, where, it may be recollected, they were 
valued at the ridiculous figure of three a penny ; and 
when even our always humorous daily contemporary 
throws over the ministerial jester of its correspond- 
ence columns to make room for other pretty wits in a 
wild endeavour to become more charmingly absurd 
than ever, it is forcibly brought home to us that 
we also are paid to be funny, and that during the 
month of the holly berry at all events it is incumbent on 
us to forsake the more serious aspect of black and 
white work, and deal only with the lighter side of 
things. Hence it is, bearing well in mind the fate 
foreshadowed as likely to befall poor Jack Point and 
his Merry Maid " peerly proud,"' should they, as 
salaried wits, fail to follify when occasion and their 
audience demanded, that I have this month, so far at 



least as my subject is concerned, done my best to 
provide one not too sedate by taking as a theme the 
life and work of an artist, whose drawings have 
probably a wider circulation than those of any of his 
brethren of the brush and pen, namely Mr. \V. F. 
Thomas, the man who has done so much to secure a 
permanent place in the public favour for that madcap 
creation Ally Sloper. All this, however, only by 
way of apologia for passing by for the moment the 
Madonnas of the latter day Raphael, the portraits of 
the modern Gainsborough, and the things in blue 
with halos of other up-to-date Old Masters, in favour 
of the classic simplicity and exquisite tenderness of 
the Sloper of Thomas. 



Before dealing with Mr. Thomas in propria persona, 
however, it may not be uninteresting to give some account 
of the Eminent, otherwise the Friend of Man himself, 
and of the really very funny paper in which his career 
is pictorially recorded week by week by Mr. Thomas's 
clever pen. 

The Prototype of Sloper. 

The prototype of Ally Sloper was, I believe, an old 
"extra" clerk of customs, who died many years ago, 
after nearly half-a-century's service. This clerk, 
who was a constant frequen er of the Horns at 
Kennington, was known among his associates as " the 
Master Mind," and had all the attributes, moral and 
physical, the mixture of simplicity and harmless 
cunning, that we have learnt to associate with Ally. 
He had a head of curious shape, of which he was 
inordinately proud. Like Ally, too, he had a mighty 
capacity for absorbing alcoholic liquor, and a par- 
ticular fondness for " unsweetened " which amounted 
to a fascination, while he was wont to confess that the 
rent of a public-house which he owned was generally 



74 



Brown's Book-Stall. 



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RENAN'S LIFE OF JESUS. 

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Brown's Book-StalL. 



75 



paid by contra account. He had a wealth of old 
stories and queer sayings, and a Munchausen-like 
faculty of embellishing his many yarns of strange 
adventures and experiences. 

The History of the Half=Holiday. 

One of the sights of London which the ordinary 
tourist as a rule does not see is the establishment at 
No. 99 Shoe Lane, known as "The Sloperies,'' from 
which that delightfully entertaining production of 
picture and print, entitled Ally Sloper" s Half- Holiday , 
makes its weekly bow to the public. Shoe Lane is by 
no means a boulevard, but it will nevertheless repay 
the enquiring traveller to visit No. 99. The window 
of the Sloperies is in itself, like the face of the young 
man in Ruddygore, a " sight for to see,'* for here in 
all their native simplicity may be seen curios connected 
with the Sloper family such as not even the British 
Museum can produce. Here is the toothpick of the 
Eminent — a mighty weapon, and here the fabled 
slippers of McGooseley and the false fringe of Aunt 
Geeser, while among articles of general rather than 
Sloperian interest may be mentioned the " Foot-rule 
used in the building of St. Paul's," the " dagger and 
spear picked up at the battle of Bannockburn" — 
no doubt a gentle reminder to Englishmen that 
there is a reverse side to the Trafalgar shield — 
and the exquisitely battered old penny trumpet, 
described as the bugle which sounded the charge of 
the Light Brigade, or at least — 

" All that was left of them — 
Left of six hundred !" 

Of course I need not explain that these and the many 
other touching relics are all of the same extravagant 
and absurd conception as the performances of Sloper 
himself. 

The Half-Holiday, which is a sort of Court Circular 
of the Sloper deeds and misdeeds was started by Mr. 
Gilbert Dalziel, the sole proprietor, inventor, patentee, 
and editor of this particularly " Happy Thought," in 
May, 1884, the first issue being dated the third of 
that month. The paper caught on exceedingly well 
from the first, and increased very steadily in circulation 
almost week by week. Each number, though it only 
runs to eight pages, contains no less than from sixty 
to eighty pictures, contributed by about twenty-five 
different men, among whom Mr. Thomas naturally 
stands first, being responsible for the front page 
cartoon, always the piece de resistance, and the 
" Weekly Whirligig." The size of the blocks of the 



former illustration precludes our reproducing a 
specimen here, but through the courtesy and kind- 
ness of Mr. Dalziel, to whom, indeed, I am also 
greatly indebted for much interesting information 
relating to Sloper, we are able to give a character- 
istic specimen of Mr. Thomas's other work in the 
Half- Holiday. 

Undoubtedly the most interesting and curious feature 
connected with this altogether unique publication — 
and a feature which never seems to have been imitated 
in an age of imitation — is the Sloper Award of Merit, 
which is conferred on all and sundry who, in the 
opinion of Mr. Dalziel, have done anything note- 
worthy. He confesses with a smile that as he is only 
human, he has very likely erred occasionally in be- 
stowing it on unworthy folks, but on the whole he 
feels satisfied that the F.O.S.'s (Friends of Sloper) 
have behaved themselves both before and after the 
receipt of the distinction. The Diploma is a very 
humorous design in colours by Mr. W. G. Baxter, 
who, prior to the engagement of Mr. Thomas, did the 
front page cartoon. This extraordinary "Honour" 
has been conferred on nearly all the most distinguished 
people of the land, whose autograph acknowledge- 
ments of the fame thus brought upon them 
in the possession of Mr. Dalziel form a most 
interesting and unique collection — many of the 
recipients writing most entertaining epistles in 
thorough appreciation of the humour of the situation. 
The distinction is not reserved for only the well known, 
however. If a good thing is done a man may be 
created an F.O.S. no matter who he is. Even the 
acceptance and publication of and payment for such 
an article as this might be regarded as a sufficiently 
unheard of event to merit the conferment of the 
diploma on the Editor of this paper. There is really 
no saying — if he and the Poet Laureate were in- 
advertently overlooked in the Jubilee List, there is 
still hope for them at the shrine of the Friend of Man. 
In fact Mr. Dalziel tells me, whether with a view to 
conveying the same as a warning to the Editor or not 
I cannot say — that there are even policemen enrolled 
on this Scroll of Fame, while among the many dis- 
tinguished members of the Order are men like the 
late Lord Leighton, Sir John Millais, Sir Richard 
Burton, and Mr. Wilkie Collins (prince of novelists ! ), 
and Field Marshal Lord Roberts, Mr. Justice 
Hawkins, Lord Charles Beresford, Viscount Wolseley, 
Sir Arthur Sullivan, Sir Henry Irving, and any 
number of others. 



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79 



One great factor in booming the Half-Holiday 
into fame was Mr. Dalziel's keen appreciation 
of the new Beatitude "Blessed are the uses 
of Advertisement." [Other publishers who have 
not yet patronized the pages of the Book-Stall please 
note.] Beyond the fact that he appreciates the use- 
fulness of this publication as a means to an end, how- 
ever, he utilized extensively a most original style of 
advertising specially invented and patented by him- 
self. Full size balloons were sent up on Bank 
Holidays with Ally in the car. Professional divers 
have jumped over Waterloo Bridge got up as the 
Old Man. Fours-in-hand with the entire family, 
including the charming Tootsie, have done 
the Derby. Launches with the same attractive 
complement of passengers have been to the Boat Race. 
The Eminent may be seen any day by the curious 
cycling in Fleet Street — in short, wherever men and 
women most do congregate there also is the Friend of 
Man with his bottle of " unsweetened," and so real a 
character has he become that little boys used to 
congregate round the door of the Sloperies about six 
o'clock waiting, as they explained, " for the Old Un to 
come out." Nor has the recent craze for Prize Com- 
petitions been overlooked. Ally has in his time given 
no less than ^iooo for a six-lined verse, while on two 
separate occasions sums of ^500 have also been paid 
as prizes. Then there is the " Sloper pipe," a 
clay with Ally's face, charming blue eyes, and 
deliciously red nose, which has been given away by 
tens of thousands. In fact I smoke no other ! There 
are also " Sloper's pills," fifty for ninepence, a box of 
which Mr. Dalziel, with a fine sense of humour, was 
good enough to send me. By all accounts they are a 
very excellent medicine, and uncommonly cheap at 
the price. The " Poor Relief Fund" of some years 
ago was a sad but successful undertaking, while the 
Xmas Holiday issue of the paper is noted for the 
excellence of its musical contributions, and the noted 
composers, such as Cellier, Solomon, Godfrey, Lutz, 
and Ivan Caryll, who have contributed to its pages. 

Such in brief, then, is the story of the famous little 
weekly to whose future success, coupled with the 
names of Mr. Dalziel and Mr. Thomas, the Editor 
and I hereby pledge ourselves to drink the first time 
we can raise fourpence for that purpose. 

The Infancy and Early Life of 
Mr. W. F. Thomas. 

Mr. Thomas is a " toon's bairn " ; that is to say he 
had not in the earlier stages of his career any of the 



educational advantages of the simple Arcadian cur- 
riculum referred to by the man Shakespeare when, in 
the same breath, but at an immature period of the 
world's history, he advocated the iormation of Free 
Libraries on distinctly novel lines, by obtaining — you 
know the quote — 

" Books ia the running brooks " — 




MR. W. F. THOMAS. 

or words to that effect. True, our victim had all the 
advantages of the " Sermons in Stones," but these 
were of so painfully puritanical a character that he did 
not derive material benefit trom them. In other 
words he was born in the early sixties by the Sal ford 
side of the inky Irwell. His parents hailed trom the 
shire of broad acres, but he was brought up in and 
around Manchester, and schooled at Halifax. From 



So 



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81 



his earliest infancy he shewed a predilection for the 
pencil — his earliest recorded pictorial success being 
obtained at school. His " Xenophon " was a different 
edition to that in use, being enriched with mapsand notes. 
One day while being tackled on the mysteries of the 
first aorist by the head master, to whom he irreverently 
refers as Tommy, the latter took occasion to borrow 
the volume to look at the notes and thereupon saw his 
own portrait at the back of one of the maps. The 
portrait was that of a little fat man, and those who 
have served under "Tommy" will appreciate the 
truth of the likeness. To the dominie's credit be it 
said, he appreciated the humour of the situation, and, 
as he handed back the book to the trembling Thomas, 
he remarked pleasantly — "Good edition this of yours, 
Thomas ; very good, um — ah — and illustrated too /" 

As years of discretion approached, Mr. Thomas 
tried business in Manchester, and promptly got sacked, 
his employers, with a slightly ironical air, advising 
his father that he had better put his son to 
something where a talent for drawing might be 
of some use. The fact was that the young 
rascal, like the poet who utilises the Ledger of A. 
Brown & Co. as a receptacle for his verses, had 
illustrated his firm's Journal and Petty Cash Book. 
Having gone through a preliminary course at a School 
of Art, Mr. Thomas next turned to calico print 
designing, and from that drifted to Paris to look at 
pictures. Meanwhile in his spare time he used to 
draw for Random Readings, an illustrated rival to 
Tit-Bits, then in its infancy. Of the proprietor of the 
latter, then plain and unknown Mr. Newnes, Mr. 
Thomas tells a characteristic story which is very 
typical of the whole of the genial Baronet's career. 
On one occasion the former went and submitted to 
Mr. Newnes some pictorial headlines such as have 
been used in Answers. The latter looked them over, 
but unfortunately discovered that one of the heads in 
the sketch — that of a working man — was repre- 
sented with a clay pipe with the bowl downwards. 
This at once struck Newnes as being rather 
vulgar, and after thinking the matter over, he 
decided that he would have nothing to do with 
pictures. Thereafter Mr. Thomas did little 
"socials" and "politicals" for a Leeds paper, 
Toby, and also an illustrated letter from Paris. He 
was promised a long engagement if he would return 
from there and do all the illustrations, but shortly 
after he had done so the editor and proprietor fell out, 
the paper smashed, and the last issue appeared 



containing no letterpress save the " legends " to his 
drawings and the "ads." ! 

And then to London. There lie sought for work, 
going the round of the publishers with varying success. 
Prior to this he had been contributing to Judy, and 
calling on Mr. Dalziel was fortunate enough to get an 
engagement on " Sloper," on the staff of which he 
has remained to this day. At first he did the small 
drawings on the front page, the " Whirligig" and the 
story "cuts" — W. G. Baxter being responsible for the 
cartoons. The latter, however, though exceedingly 
clever, had the " artistic temperament " strongly 
developed, and used to worry Mr. Dalziel by his 
erratic method of sending in his sketches too late. 
Various other artists were tried and found wanting, 
the position being eventually given to Mr. Thomas, 
who has filled it with conspicuous success, while he 
has only on one occasion, when the influenza had him 
in what he calls its grippe — and he still lives ! — failed 
to come up to time. Of Mr. Dalziel he speaks 
in the most eulogistic terms, and if that worthy 
would promise not to blush I might mention that 
he is referred to as a splendid fellow to work 
with, full of good ideas, sympathetic and enthusiastic. 

At the end of '94 there occurred one of those tides 
in the affairs of Mr. Thomas which, taken at the 
flood — you know the rest. In short it was a sort of 
turning-point in his career which only completed half 
the circle. Having convinced himself of the truth of 
the proverb "Nothing venture, nothing win," he 
posted one day a couple of drawings to Mr. Harry 
Furniss's ill-fated paper Lika-Joko, then in the hey-day of 
its infancy, and a couple to Punch. In those days the 
latter was a very "close borough," and he confesses 
that he hadn't much hope from that quarter. Nothing 
was heard of the Punch pictures for a fortnight or so, 
and with the rash impetuosity of youth he forthwith 
concluded that they were by that time undergoing a 
process of re-manufacture at the nearest paper-mills. 
One fine morning, however, to his delight and sur- 
prise, the first of them appeared, and a week later 
the other. Blessings, like misfortunes, never come 
singly, and at the same time he got a note 
from Mr. Harry Furniss asking him to call, 
whereupon he was offered a staff appointment 
on the new paper. Then suddenly there appeared 
the bristling horns of a dire dilemma — whether 'twas 
better to follow up the footing he had got on Punch 
and take his chance of getting a drawing in now and 
then or to take the genial Lika Joko's offer of a 



8a Brown's Book-Stall. 



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WEST-END SHOE WAREHOUSE. 

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Brown's Book-Stall. 



83 









regular appointment. On the bird in the hand princi- 
ple he took the latter and flourished — not for the two 
years for which Mr. Furniss had intimated he could 
run the paper at a loss, but for nine months. Yet of these 
he has the happiest recollections, for it was a pleasant 
time while it lasted, the work being interesting and 
refined and of a style which he should have liked to 
follow up. But Editor and Advertising Department 
fell out, and the New Budget, to which he followed 
Mr. Furniss on the demise of Lika-Joko, went the way 
of all flesh. Of Mr. Harry Furniss — "Hurry" 
Furniss, Mr. Thomas cabs him — he has also a very 
high opinion. He speaks of him — I trust Mr. F. 
will forgive my only being able to give an instalment 
of his virtues ; at a future date if he will follow the 
precedent of Barkis, I shall be happy to write of them 
at greater length — as most pleasant to work with, 
always on the sprint, and capable of getting through a 
tremendous lot of work in a marvellously short time. 

Some Reminiscences and an Appreciation. 

I might re-tell many yarns told me by Mr. Thomas, 
for he is a fellow of infinite jest ; tell how a sub- 
editor on one occasion requested him to draw "an 
enormous tower in the shape of a gigantic frog with 
thousands of little French men and women swarming 
over it, all elegantly dressed, with parasols and tall 
hats and so on " — the whole to be depicted, mind 
you, on a space about an inch and three-quarters 
square ; or how another time he was requested to 
draw an old man asleep, just wakening up — o::e eye 
opening slowly ! — but space is limited. Indeed I 
have left but little in which to express our indebtedness 
to Mr. Thomas for the delightfully humorous draw- 
ing " Anither Scottie," which we are privileged to 
reproduce, or to say a word as to his own personality. 
As an artist he already holds a high, and will un- 
questionably hold a still higher position in his pro- 
fession, while in the flesh he is a prince among good 
fellows — a man who, like Jack Point, can convulse 
you with quip and conundrum, who has the lighter 
philosophies at his tongue's tip, who can be merry, 
wise, quaint, grim and sardonic, one by one or all at 
once, and who, moreover, possesses a pretty, pretty 
wit, for he has read his Gilbert to some purpose, 
and never fails to recollect that — 

When they're offered to the world in merry guise, 
Unpleasant truths are swallowed with a will — 

Vox he who'd make his fellow creatures wise 
Should always gild the philosophic pill ! 

J. G. R. 



MORE SCOTCH FOLK. 

We take the following from that volume of delight- 
ful essays by John Buchan, entitled Scholar Gipsies : - 
At some farm houses the tramp's coming was eagerly 
looked for ; and even at the laird's house he was 
given the seat at the fire for the sake of his news. 
There is a story told of a well-known Peeblesshire 
laird of last century that, when one of the fraternity 
presented himself at his door, he demanded if he had 
any news. " Nane, sir, was the reply. "Then get 
ye gone," said the laird, "and dinna come back till 
ye've something to tell." After a few weeks the 
beggar appeared again. He told the servant that he 
had great news for his master, and was immediately 
brought into the room where that worthy sat with his 
wife. " Well," said the laird, " What's new the day?" 
" Oh," said the tramp, " I was just gaun to tell ye 
that I had been doon below, i' the ill place, sin I saw 
ye last." " And what saw ye there ? " asked the laird. 
" Mickle the same as here, the puir hadden doon wi' 
the great ; but the Deil showed me a muckle chair 
aside the fire that he said he was keeping for the laird 

o' B ." " You see, my dear," said the old 

man, turning to his wife, " I am preferred wherever 
I go." 



THE COMPLEAT ANGLER. 

How doth the angler, blythe and gay, 

From morn till twilight hour, 
Gather rheumatics all the day 

From every passing shower. 

How cheerfully upon the hook 

He threads the wriggling bait : 
The number of the fish he took 

He multiplies by eight. 

What makes his comely face so bright ? 

Why does his basket clink ? 
Because although he gets no bite 

He's certain of a drink. 
And though he be of manners mild, 

This trait in him is odd ; 
He certainly won't spare the child 

Who may have spoiled the rod. 

His sense of etiquette is fine — 

Politeness is his whim — 
He alway > drops the fish a line 

To come and dine with him. 

From " The Quest of the Gilt-Edged Girl" 



84 



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No. 41 



January, i 



Price One Penny 




IN THE FORTIES. 

HEN the Queen 
ascended the throne 
Aberdeen news- 
papers sold at 4jd. 
each. They con- 
sisted of four pages, 
and were issued 
weekly. They con- 
tained aweek's home 
and foreign news, 
the London corres- 
pondence appearing 
the^fourth day after it was written, and the 
postage on letters cost 1/2. 

The means of communication were slow 
and dear, and as a consequence the news- 
papers contained condensed reports, and but 
very meagre details of the public life of the 
time. At that time a young schoolmaster, who 
was an accurate observer and an earnest 
student, had gone over two or three times every 
word in Webster's Dictionary, so as to get at 
the correct pronunciation. He had also 
verified every proof in Bagster's Comprehensive 
Bible, and detected a number of errors which 
he corrected, and for which Mr. Bagster held 
him in thankful remembrance. He was 
also a stenographic writer, using Taylor's 
system, but he felt on examination and with 
practice that it was difficult to write, and 
even more difficult to read, from the arbitrary 
nature of the characters representing letters 
and words, and he made several improve- 
ments. These he forwarded to Mr. Bagster 
to publish for him, as Taylor's Stenography, j 



improved for use in schools, at a low price, 
but the shrewd publisher suggested that 
instead of Taylor's system he should bring out 
one of his own, and shortly after he did so, 
entitled Stenographic Sound Hand. The 
principle on which he proceeded was that 
each sound in the language should have a 
distinct sign— -to be represented by dots, 
curves, and straight lines — and so expressed 
that it would be "sound made visible" — a 
simple, natural, and easily acquired system 
of writing. It was published in 1837, and 
excited some attention. Mr. Isaac Pitman, 
for he was the author, applied himself 
diligently to its improvement, and with 
suggestions and assistance from those 
interested in a writing reform, a very much 
improved edition was published in 1840 
under the title of Phonography or Writing by 
Sound, being a new and natural system of 
shorthand. To meet the requirements of 
the time it was issued as a penny sheet, a marvel 
of beautiful lithography, and it had a large 
circulation. Another edition was called for 
with still further improvements, published at 
8d., and from then till now has been pub- 
lished edition after edition in ever increasing 
appreciation and popularity. At what time 
it was first introduced to our city, I do not 
know. I cannot get any trace farther back 
than 1842 or 1843, when a copy of the 
work was in the possession of Mr. Andrew 
Sherer, ship chandler and shipowner, Quay, 
who recommended it to some of his friends 
who began the study, and one of whom — the 
only one alive so far as I know — writes it 
fluently and beautifully to the present time. 



86 



Brown's Book-Stall. 




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Mr. Sherer was a man who early in life 
devoted himself to philanthropic and benev- 
olent work. He was a Sabbath School 
teacher, a temperance reformer, a hydro- 
pathist, and eminently progressive. He was 
an active Congregationalist, and when the 
Atonement controversy came before the 
churches, he went with the Evangelical 
Union, and became a prominent leader in 
that body. Had he lived a few years longer 
he would have witnessed and taken part in 
the union of the two bodies, which has now 
taken place after fifty years of separation. 

There were some then who practised 
Phonography in the city, but they were few. 
The visit, however, of two brothers of the in- 
ventor, Benn and Henry Pitman, gave a great 
impetus to the movement. In 1845 tne Y 
gave two lectures in the County Rooms at 
which the Rev. Sir Wm. Dunbar, Bart., the 
minister of St. Paul's Episcopal Chapel, 
Gallowgate, presided. They gave a full 
explanation of the system to an audience 
numbering about 500, and after the lecture 
they surprised the audience by w r riting to 
dictation, at an ordinary speaking rate, a few 
hundred words, reading them forward and 
backward speedily and accurately. Classes 
weie then formed, and altogether there were 
about 350 pupils; 60 of these being boys 
from Gordon's Hospital. After the classes 
were finished a soiree was held in the 
Temperance Hall, George Street. Owing to 
absence from home Rev. Sir William Dunbar 
was unable to be present, but he wrote 
excusing his absence, and praising the system 
and the teachers for their able instruction, 
he having been one of the pupils. Rev. Sir 
William will be remembered by the few who 
survive him as a frank, kindly man, with a 
pleasant countenance, and always the gentle- 
man. As a minister he had his worries. 
His excommunication by Bishop Skinner 
gave him, I suppose, less trouble than the 
irrepressible progressiveness of his colleague, 
Rev. Samuel A. Walker, who instituted evening 
service in St. Paul's, and conducted a 
Mission Church in the Gallowgate. Who- 
ever was to blame, they seemed very much to 
ignore each other; but they are now both 



where there is no misunderstandings, and 
where there is peace, perfect peace. 

The chair was taken by the Rev. John 
Hope, the minister of the Unitarian Church, 
and the speakers were Archibald M 'Donald, 
James M'Pherson, and James Murray. 
A. M'Donald was a well-known Chartist, an 
eloquent and forcible speaker, and took a lead 
in public meetings. He contested the Elgin 
Burghs with Sir Andrew Leith Hay, and 
was elected, by the show of hands at the 
hustings. Sir Andrew demanded a poll, 
and as "Airchie," as he was familiarly called, 
had no funds to contest the election, Sir 
Andrew became member. He was of an 
inventive turn of mind, and made some 
progress in the manufacture of granite vases 
and cups by grinding the granite and 
moulding it into the form desired, but it did 
not seem to be appreciated, and came to 
little practical value. James M'Pherson was 
a combmaker, and also a prominent Chartist 
orator at that time. He w r as also a capital 
speaker, and on that occasion made a stirring 
and eloquent speech. James Murray was 
a man who interested himself in religious and 
benevolent work, and was one of the worthies 
of the Loch Kirk, the Rev. David Arthur's. In 
a very happy address he presented each of the 
brothers Pitman with a gold watch and chain 
as an evidence of the good service they had 
given to their pupils, and their appreciation of 
their teaching. It is acuriouscircumstancethat 
the first man to introduce Phonography to 
the city should be the first subscriber to the 
funds of the Aberdeen Temperance Society, 
and the man who took the foremost part in 
the first social meeting of Phonographers in 
the city should be the first to subscribe the 
pledge of the Aberdeen Temperance Society. 
The one, Andrew Sherer, the other, James 
Murray, father of ex-Baillie Murray, St. 
Nicholas Street. Every one oi those mentioned 
as taking part in that meeting are dead, with 
the exception of Mr Benn Pitman. As a 
result of their visit several classes were opened, 
but now I know only one who was a pupil, and 
and he does not remember any others now 
alive. 

Mr. Johnston Pirie, to whom I refer, was 
a pupil of Benn Pitman's class. He is a 



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8 9 



beautiful writer, swift and accurate, and has 
found it of immense service to him in 
business and private life. For years he 
took his minister's sermons. Rev. J. 
Aiken, Original Secession Church, and on 
one occasion when they had been dis- 
appointed with the supply not coming 
forward, a few minutes before the service 
began, one of the elders asked Mr. Pirie to take 
it. He went home and quickly returned with a 
MS. sermon in Phonography, which he read 
to the congregation as easily and as distinctly 
as if it had been ordinary print — a double 
compliment to the value of Phonography, and 
to the skill and ability of the writer, who 
could thus on an emergency fill up a gap— 
which help was highly appreciated by the 
congregation, as they listened again to one 
of the discourses of their esteemed minister. 
The first report of the Aberdeen Phonographic 
Society was submitted to the members on the 
first week of January, 1846. Roderick 
M'Kenzie, a clerk in a lawyer's office, was 
the secretary. He had begun the study of 
Phonography before the Pitmans visited the 
city. He was pretty far advanced, and he 
had a very fine style of writing. 

Some ladies became active phonographers 
then, teaching classes and issuing a Phono- 
graphic Magazine entitled the Bagatelle, and 
if I am not mistaken some of them are still 
hale and hearty, but it would be invidious to 
mention names, as an approximation to age 
might be inferred, and that is what no lady 
likes to be known. 

In 1847 there was still no falling 
off in enthusiasm. Several classes were 
conducted, and amongst those teaching was 
Lemuel Young, one of the masters in Broad- 
ford Works, who had become a beautiful 
writer. Another phonographer then was Mr. 
James Williamson, at that time in a wholesale 
merchant's in the Gallowgate, but who was 
lately the Provost of Banff. I do not know 
whether he has kept up his shorthand 
writing or not, but he was one of the early 
students and members of the Phonographic 
Society. Mr. Francis Cooper began before 
1845, having got the first book from Mr. 
Sherer. He had been very zealous in 
acquiring the art, and became not only an 



expert reporter but an exceedingly neat writer. 
Mr. Cooper taught and corrected lessons 
to many, encouraging them to devote their 
spare time to the acquisition of Phonography, 
andin 1847 heconducteda morning classinone 
of the rooms of Meston's Academy, Union 
Street, where at six o'clock i 5 or 20 young men 
were instructed. Mr. Cooper wrote out in 
shorthand a complete copy of the Bible, in- 
cluding Psalms, Paraphrases, and Hymns, 
a work of great labour and care, but com- 
pleted with success. As a member of St. 
Nicholas Lane Church he reported the 
sermons of the late Rev. Henry Angus, and 
had in 1853 completed 7 volumes of 3000 
pages, latterly using in reporting them in church 
pen and ink in preference to pencil. Mr. 
Cooper has had many distinguished pupils, 
among whom I may mention the late Wm. 
Alexander, LL.D., and the still living eminent 
missionary and townsman, Dr. Laws, Living- 
stonia, Africa, and Professor Cooper of Madras. 
His unwearied and gratuitous work in promot- 
ing phonography is worthy of all praise, and 
he is undoubtedly one of the oldest writers of 
the system in our city, and one of its most 
active pioneers. Mr. Cooper was associated 
with George Reid and John Walker in pro- 
ducing a lithographed monthly, the Phon - 
graphic Herald, during the year 1847, ar, d 
published by the proprietors of the Book- 
stall, A. Brown & Co. Mr. Reid was early 
in the movement, as also Mr. Walker. The 
former was a nephew of the late Mr. Reid, 
and a partner in the firm of B. Reid & Co. 
He was an ardent phonographer. John 
Walker was a printer, and a brother of 
ex-Baillie Walker, a great enthusiast in the 
Phonographic Reform, and wrote the New 
Testament very legibly and neatly. Mr. 
Cooper alone survives his two colleagues. 
In 1848 Mr. Archibald Gillies joined the 
Aberdeen Herald as reporter. Previous to 
that time there were no verbatim reporters 
on the press in the city. With the cum- 
brous and uncertain stenography which was 
used on special occasions it was wonderful 
the amount of matter that was given and the 
accuracy with which it was recorded. Mr. 
Gillies, in reporting at Public Board dis- 
cussions, sometimes gave the verbatim con- 



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9' 



versational speeches of the members, which 
were often amusing and enjoyable to the 
readers. A reporter in his professional 
work must have some very humorous ex- 
periences, and Mr. Gillies shortly after coming 
to the city had to attend a tenantry gather- 
ing in connection with the marriage of 
their Laird. The Laird's brother had to 
make a speech and stood up to do so, 
but he had either nothing to say or could 
not say it, and he havered away unintelligibly 
and blunderingly about crops and weather. 
When after a pause, Mr. Gillies being near, 
note book in hand, the orator took a firm 
hold of his hair, bawling out at the 
pitch of his voice, " Did you ever see a 
crop of carrots like that?" which con- 
vulsed the audience, for at that time Mr. 
Gillies's hair was red, long, and upright. It 
was the hit of the speech-making, and was 
delicately referred to in the Herald on the first 
Saturday after the meeting. 

At that time, David Symon, a lawyer's 
clerk, was an enthusiast, and had classes for 
a season or two, which were well attended. 
The same year, James Valentine, who had 
been studying Pitman's System, joined the 
staff of the Banner, and continued reporting 
till its decease, when he went to the Aberdeen 
Journal and acted as reporter there for several 
years. Mr. Valentine was well known for his 
intelligence and zeal in many public questions. 
He was much interested in music, taking a 
leading part in promoting the improvement 
of Psalmody in our city ; was on the com- 
mittee who started the Saturday Evening 
Entertainments, arranged and tabulated val- 
uable statistical tables of trade, commerce, 
and population, and gave very helpful aid to 
sanitary reform and other social questions. 
He contributed some papers to Macmillan's 
Magazine and Good Words, and altogether 
he was a pleasant comrade, a shrewd and 
able co-worker, and spent much of his spare 
time in promoting the public good. 

For Good Scotch Stories *>«**©-$<* 

Read CRAIGDAM <5r= ITS MINISTERS 
by George Walker. Price Sixpence. 

A. Brown 6° Co. , Publishers. Aberdeen. 




to exclaim- 



CHRISTMAS NUMBERS IN 
ABERDEEN. 

XMAS Number is a strong feature this 
year, even stronger than usual, we 
think, at least some Xmas Numbers 
are stronger than ever they have been 
before. You have, of course, seen 
the last month's number of Brown's 
Book-Stall, with its bright, seasonable, 
and national supplementary picture, 
giving a characteristic portrait of the 
latest acquisition to the great Scots 
nation, namely Sandy McLaus. With 
the other great Scott we are inclined 
' Lives there a man with soul so dead 
who never to himself hath said I will arise and go to 
Brown's Book-Stall and expend the sum of one penny 
in purchasing the Christmas Number." 

If you happen to be the happy possessor of 
tuppence you should certainly expend the other penny 
in securing a copy of the special Christmas issue of 
Bon-Accord. The contents are, like Sam Weller's 
knowledge of London, " extensive and peculiar." 
From the page where they extol the "Silver Bell" 
to that on which the Silversmith holds the field they 
hold their cheerful way through song and story. To 
be thoroughly up-to-date there is an article on the 
Gay Gordons, but wisely the Dargai incident is 
eschewed, and they go right to the root of the matter 
with an interesting account of Jane Maxwell, the 
dashing Duchess who raised the regiment in 1794. 
This is accompanied by a portrait of the present 
Marquis of Huntly, and a full-page supplement, 
after a drawing by Mr. Win. Smith, showing the 
Duchess recruiting in a country market. 

By the way have you been to see Messrs. Smith 
and Hector's exhibition of Breton sketches in their 
studio at 61 Schoolhill? If not you should, they are 
worth seeing — and buying. 

Then there's The Northern Figaro has got its 
Xmas Number too, but it deserves a fresh page, ami 
shall have it — see page III. 



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PRESENT is the title of a 
series of Illustrated Articles 
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Waifs of Rhyme 

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Third Ed Hi 0)i. 



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95 



ft 




ST. FITTACK'S: A NIGHTMARE. 



^^^ 




pE autumn nicht when Nigg lay still, 
I The moon gaed scud din' through the sky ; 
The plovers piped o'er Tullos Hill, 
The corn in stooks was reestlin' dry. 

I dandered by the Bay o' Nigg 

As city bells the midnicht tolled, 
And barmy breaker's foamin' big 

O'er clatterin' stanes like thunder rolled. 

The Girdleness flashed oot and in 

Its kindly warnin' o'er the sea ; 
St. Fittack's graveyard wa's within 

The nicht wind's croon sooched eerily. 



By day St. Fittack's kirkyard seems 
A weedy, drear, deserted hole, 

By nicht when moonlight o'er it streams, 
The rendezvous o' restless souls. 

This nicht the little belfry blazed, 

Its slender spire, its tiny bell, 
A dainty thing by faerie raised 

To ring some dying baby's knell. 

I lap the wa', and on a stane — 

Some lang dead Nigger's monument — 

I sat and pondered a' my lane 

On life and death and what they meant. 



9 6 



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ROUND THE WORLD, from London Bridge 

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THE ART BIBLE. Comprising the Text of the 

Old and New Testatments, printed in entirely new type, 
specially selected for its clearness and sharpness of outline, 
and with 850 Illustrations, Maps, etc. In One Volume, 
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gilt leaves, 12s ; or in Two Volumes, Old Testament, 9s. ; 
New Testament, 5s. 

Also in the following special bindings — French morocco, 
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Turkey morocco, hand-tooled in gold, solid gold leaves, 38s. 

The Bishop of Ripon's (Dr. W. Boyd Carpenter) chaplain 
writes : — " His lordship thinks the edition an excellent one, 
well designed and executed, and likely to prove very useful and 
interesting, especially to young people." 

THE WAY OF THE CROSS: A Pictorial 

Pilgrimage from Bethlehem to Calvary. Containing 

236 Magnificent Views of the Holy Land. Oblong small 

4to, cloth extra, gilt leaves, 8s. 6d. 

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With Glossarial Side-notes. Complete in 12 vols, foolscap 
8vo, bound in cloth, with cut or uncut edges, 18s. ; or, 
inclosed in a quaint cloth box, 21s ; also in half-morocco, 
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VISITS TO MONASTRIES OF THE 

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of those fascinating books of travel which have taken 
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SHAKESPEARE'S HEROINES: Character- 

istics of Women — Moral, Poetical, and Historical. By 
Mrs. Jameson. 

"The most charming of all the works of the charming 
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THACKERAY'S CHRISTMAS BOOKS. 

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97 



Ower in th' 1 toon the citizens 

Are maistly steeped in drink or sleep ; 
But here the kirkyard denizens, 

Although unseen, their revels keep. 

A nettle boos, a dockan shak's, 

A stane gaes rattlin' doon the bank ; 

Wee Devil kins the clatter mak's, 

Tormentin' waukrif souls wi' pranks. 

And throo the wa' cracks lichties trip, 
Dance down the haugh a twinklin' train ; 

Ower at the healin' well they dip, 
And turn and twinkle back again. 

And puzzlin' over life and death, 

A riddle that I canna rede ; 
I saft and safter drew my breath. 

And soonly slept amo' the dead. 

Hoo lang I slept I canna tell, 

But roused at last wi' mony a horn 

And mony a clamorin' factory bell 

That rang impatient through the morn. 

I waukened — rubbed my e'en and stared, 
My head was bizzin' like a bee ; 

And like the wifie i' the sang, 
Says I " This is na surely me." 

The kirkyard wa's are here ; and there 

The little belfry safe and soun', 
But Tullos Hill seems feued, and where 

Were fields last night, the day — a toon. 

A thoosan' hooses in a nicht, 

Wi' toors and steeples far and wide, 

And in the bay — afore my sicht 
A thoosan' ships in harbour ride. 

And stranger still, the gravestanes seem 
Much brawer, fresher than yestreen ; 

Tchach — dammit — this maun be a dream, 
I'll no believ't — lat's rub my e'en. 

And read the stanes to see if aye 
The fathers o' the hamlet sleep — 

What's this ? — Guid God ! I shak' and pray, 
While o'er my niz the cauld sweats dreep. 

Freens o' my youth, can ye be deid, 
Wi' wham last nicht I played at whist ? 

The tears doon fa', I canna read 

Your gravestanes throo this sauty mist. 



The Psalmist says we canna richt- 

ly tell what change a day brings forth ; 

That's true for Judah ! but a nicht 
Works michty wonders in the north. 

Here Shirra Broon's his record closed 

And taen tae avizandum ; 
The cases rare his Lordship posed, 

In heaven tae understand 'em. 

In prison lone the Shirra lies, 

For trial here remitted ; 
The Lord will say on Judgment Day 

' ' For justice done — Acquitted. " 

The Toon's House Plutarch learned chiel 

Lies ready for uprisin' 
Wi' heart richt leal, and head weel stored, 

Wi' knowledge maist surprisin'. 

In a deid box below 
Lies Saunders Munro, 

The Toon's Hoose lamented recorder, 
Gin the big bulk's akin 
When to Heaven he win, 

Hell set it in apple-pie order. 

Here's Maker Carnie, kind and keen, 

A poet first — and second 
(A combination rarely seen) 

A man o' business reckoned. 

Softly tread, a poet's ashes 

Wait below the end of time ; 
Softly quote, in reverent whispers, 

Fragments of the " Waifs of Rhyme.'' 

Waifs that driftmg with the current, 
Waifs that tossing with the wind, 

Rest at last in quiet corners 
Of the human heart and mind. 

Tones of feeling, glints of gladness, 

Glimpses of the good and fair, 
Sympathy that softens sadness, 

Merry thoughts that conquer care. 

And the waifs aye tossing, drifting, 

Down life's lanes and streams are whirled ; 

Here and there like seeds they settle, 
Bright to bourgeon in the world. 



9 8 



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99 



Softly tread, a poets ashes 

Waits below the end of time ; 
But to us he's ever singing 

Charming little " Waifs of Rhyme.'" 

Here's auld John Low, the minister, 
Let's hope that he's forgiven ; 

John valued mair a rood o' glebe 
Than acres broad in Heaven. 

The Reverend John Low 

Is buried below, 
Nae mair two he mumbles and screeches ; 

In Hell, ye may bet, 

He can hardly get het 
If he burn as bad as he preaches. 

Beside the eastern wa' there lies 

Awaitin' Resurrection 
A raw o' fossil councillors 

In dread of non -election. 

Each narrow ward — echt feet o' sward, 

Within' a little rail is, 
Nae index stane nor golden chain 

Distinguishes the Baillies. 

But o'er their dust the noble bust 

O' faithful Provost Daniel, 
Wi' city crests, twa unco beasts 

Like pard or spotted spaniel. 

While under on a slab there's traced 
This verse, their sole record, 

A single epitaph's enough 
For a' the Cooncil Board. 

How are the mighty fallen 

From the palmy days of Zion ; 

Daniel's still in the wild beasts' den, 
But he's only got one lion. 

And neist I see the doctor's deid, 
His peels have lost their fushion ; 

He took a maggot in his heid 
To test new fangled pusion, 
And here he lies. 

Here's the auld doctor boddy, 

A thocht cracked in the noddy, 

Wha dabbled wi' dockans and daisies : 



Gane to heaven or hell, 
We canna weel tell — 
He sent patients to baith o' the places. 

The folks wi' caulds to heat in Hell, 

The sair hearts sent to glory, 
And those complaints he coodna tell 

He kept in Purgatory. 

In classical sepulchral vault 

Methinks here lies Sir William, 
Who Greeks' and Romans' every thought 

Could learnedly reveal 'em. 

When Homer in Elysian fields 

Was chatting with Ulysses, 
Sir William happened there to take 

An airing with his missus. 

Old Homer heard him ask what time 

He might expect his dinner, 
The poet says I know I ween 

That man, or I'm a sinner. 

His figure's strange, his face unknown, 

But when I heard him speak, 
I thought it was some ' ' old time " pal 

Who thus accents his Greek. 

The question vexing shades below 

Is, which of two is Homer ? 
The party living there before, 

Or this like named newcomer. 

They made old Plato referee, 
Who heard both Homers speak, 

And then declared it was a " draw," 
They equally knew Greek. 

A silence fell, the horns ceased, 

The bells forego their clangour ; 
And cauld and stiff I try to rise, 
But ferlies spy nae langer. 

On Nigg's broad bay nae steamers ride 

But salmon cobbles only ; 
Nae toors nor spires on Tullos bide, 

But fir trees dark and lonely. 

And gravestanes noo wi' dirt and moss 

Are covered as of yore ; 
And friends wham I sae mourned the loss 

Will drink wi' me once more. 

Deux. 



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102 



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103 



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the time of going to press the list of 
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the said Most Distinguished Order — 

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For services in connection with the Australasian 

Colonies. 
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of Browri 's Book-Stall, 
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ix^^jfaffi at mi 

SIGDOFGrORflSb&Pei) 

Being some notes on the 

Black and White Artists 

of to day 



No. 5.— MR. E. J. SULLIVAN 




POET or a philosopher — it matters 
not which, for they are alike in 
their unreliability — has said in 
one of his most profound thoughts 
that " there is nothing like 
leather." Personally, I have an 
excellent substitute for it- 
Cheek ; and it was this that led 
me into Castle Dangerous as 
hereinafter related. How the 
exercise of the latter, however, 
did not lead to a prompt applica- 
tion of the former, as typified for 
the occasion by the boot of Mr. 
E. J. Sullivan, an artist of the 
first water and a man of abiding 
patience, when, on behalf of the readers of the 
Book-Stall, I went on a recent occasion north- 
westwards in London town, is to me a matter of 
heartfelt congratulation if also of much wonder. In 
short, I had undertaken to interview the aforesaid Mr. 
Sullivan, and the fact that I escaped, as the legal 
documents put it, " skaithless," says much for the 
good humour and sweet amiability of the other man ; 
for, to adapt Mr Gilbert's obiter dictum about the 
bobby to the circumstance of the moment, when your 
enterprising Showman goes an-interviewing, then, 
verily, the victim's life is not a happy one. 

It is a rather pleasant, not to say an amusing 
occupation to sit in one's back parlour, undisturbed 
save by telegraphic communications from the Editor, 
couched in language more vigorous than scriptural, to 
hurry up with the " copy," and there compose letters 
to prominent pen-men, requesting them to lay bare 
the secret recesses of the heart, to picture in words 
adequate to the importance of the occasion, the life 
they have led since they discarded the infantile bottle, 
and to give as truthful a description as possible of the 



Morris wall-paper in their second best parlour, or the 
exact number of Old Masters hung in the bath-room. 
This, at anyrate, was my conception of the part I was 
to play in writing these notes at the time when the 
Editor, worthy man, induced me to undertake that 
great responsibility, and this was the spirit in which I 
had determined to proceed. It was an easy and an 
entertaining role, for I could see in my mind's eye the 
artist trying to reconcile with his conscience and the 
fact that he stood at the plate o' Sundays, his descrip- 
tion of the drawing of himself by a fellow artist on 
their joint return from a tea-party (which formed a 
prominent adornment on the walls of his studio) as an 
impressionist sketch. But Mr E. J. Sullivan is very 
wide awake, and in reply to my request for the 
customary confession of faith, he adroitly, and with 
malice prepense, invited me to call. Now, conducting 
correspondence with a celebrity through the prosaic 
medium of the Post- Master General is a vastly different 
affair from bearding the lion in his den, and I can 
assure you that it was with a very clean collar and a 
mighty sinking in the cardiac region that I set out for 
the studio of this well known black and white man. 

Haverstock Hill is about as near Scotland as it well 
can be provided it wishes to remain in London. It 
is only the fine sense of humour of those responsible 
for its name, however, that is accountable for it being 
called a "hill." True, there is a slight rise in the 
" lie o' the Ian'," necessitating the resting at many 
wayside shrines such as The Load of Hay or the Sit 
Richard Steele on the part of the adventurous pilgrim 
climbing this Pisgah from which he hopes to view the 
Promised Land, represented, on this occasion only, by 
Belsize Grove, but taken as a whole Haverstock Hill 
as a substitute for Sculty is poor, even though the 
breezes from Happy Hampstead blow with refreshing 
vigour o'er its summit when the " win's that wye." 
Belsize Grove, at No. 30 of which Mr Sullivan sits in 



o6 



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JUST PUBLISHED 

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Diaries for 1898. 



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ABERDEEN AWA' 

Sketches of its Men, Manners, and Customs. 

By GEORGE WALKER. 

With Portraits and Illustrations. 



The volume contains nearly double the matter which 
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107 



state in a halo of cigarette smoke — his consumption of 
his favourite mixture being such that the Revenue 
would miss him — is what might be termed a quiet 
neighbourhood with — and I sincerely trust this is 
correct, for I used my pocket compass with some care 
— a North light and all the other things which artists 
find necessary in a dwelling place. My knock at the 
door was a subdued one, and I was rather surprised 
when a boyish figure with a pair of twinkling eyes full 
of merriment and sly humour, in fact an individual 
bearing a considerable likeness to Mr Phil May, 
quietly broke the fact to me that he and no other was 
Mr. Sullivan. Hitherto I had taken him for Mr. 
Sullivan's youngest son, and it was no slight relief to 
find that my subject was not the terrible reality I had 
pictured. Once inside his own sanctum, what could 
I do save follow the example of James Hogg, and 
stand and "glower," for the place was littered with 
drawings such as made me nigh forget the tenth, if not 
the eighth, commandment — Mr. Sullivan being just on 
the point of completing a series of thirty pictures for 
which he had been commissioned. 

Seated in the snuggest of chairs, a cigarette going 
merrily, and a sample of a new brand of lemonade 
which had a name something like " Dew of Ben 
Nevis," — of which Mr. Sullivan, with charming 
solicitude for my welfare insisted that I should partake 
— beside me, I felt indeed that after all life was worth 
living. After two hours of this sort of thing I came 
to the conclusion that my true vocation was that of 
interviewer, and forthwith abandoned all thoughts of 
the ministry. 

Then we talked ; at least he did, and I listened, 
smoked, and consumed the aforesaid lemonade. 
Before dealing with his apologia pro sua vita in detail, 
however, it is interesting to note the prominence which 
the month of September occupies in the story of his 
life, for it was during that month that most of the 
turning points in his career have occured. He came 
into the world in September 6th, 1869, to be 
precise ; he left London, where he was born, on his 
first birthday, proceeding to the Lake District of which 
his earliest recollections are. Five years later, again in 
September, he came to Hastings, then went to school 
in September, and came back to London at the age of 
nineteen to join the Graphic staff in September. 

Mr. Sullivan's " career," as he smilingly observed 
I was good enough to call it, began when he was 
nineteen in Mr. Thomas's room at the Graphic — 
that starting point in the fortunes of so many other 



famous artists, when Mr. C. N. Wilkinson, afterwards 
founder of Black and White, wrote him a note of 
introduction to the Secretary of the Joint Dock 
Committee for a permit to sketch in the Docks during 
the great strike. 

" Ah me," said Mr. Sullivan, with the nearest 
approach to a sigh he could manage, though to be sure 
he is a shocking pessimist, much given, doubtless from 
force of habit, to looking at the black side of things — 
" Ah me, these were the halcyon days of black and 
white work — at least for the artist." 





MR. E. J. SULLIVAN. 
From a Pencil Sketch by himself. 

" Pen-drawing has also a past then?" I ventured 
to enquire, for the lemonade was invigorating. 

Yes, he answered in effect, it is not now what 
it used to be in the days when the Graphic 
and the Londo>i News had things pretty much 
to themselves. Now illustrated papers spring up 
like the gourd of Jonah in a night, and, started 



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as they are generally on small capital, they have 
to make a name ere it gets exhausted, or perish. 
An increased demand for black and white work thus 
arising has created by the well known economic axiom 
an additional supply of workers, and this, combined 
with the fact that many of the papers are, like a well- 
known city factor's description of some of his tenants, 
' here the day and awa' the morn,' has greatly lowered 
the prices paid for good work ; it has, in fact, tended 
to reduce the majority of black and white men to one 
common level — the sheep and the goats being much 
on a par so far as payment is concerned. 

" Indeed," said my victim with sly humour, "I 
am seriously thinking of throwing up artistic work 
altogether and taking to literature, or " — with the 
least perceptible pause — ■" interviewing.'''' 

" My dear Mr Sullivan," I said, " let us try and 
look at the bright side of things ; you may die before 
then." 

When the Daily Graphic started, Mr. Sullivan 
joined the staff, and on it he spent two exciting years, 
doing the greater part of the portraits that appeared 
in its pages during that time. On one occasion he did 
thirty-six Nonconformist delegates in one day at the 
rate of five minutes a-piece, but the result, he con- 
fesses, was not brilliant. He and his friend Jones — 
his name for another artist now famous — did forty- 
eight Irish members one day between them, racing 
each other. Mr. Sullivan beat his opponent on the 
post by a couple of heads — those of Tim Healy 
and Michael Davitt. In fact, when thoroughly set, 
Mr. Sullivan is capable of turning out work at a rare 
speed, and, moreover, of consistently high merit, his 
"record" in this respect being eighty finished drawings 
in eighty days. This is really a more brilliant feat 
than may at first appear to the lay mind, for it in- 
cludes the reading of the text to be illustrated — gener- 
ally a couple of days' hard work — the selection of the 
' situations,' grouping and arrangement of his models, 
etc. While on the Daily Graphic, he was, as he puts 
it, sexton to their ' graveyard,' in which were 
buried eminent statesmen, poets, editors, and even 
interviewers. 

"Any black and white artists as well?" I queried. 

" Oh no," he answered, " they all die young 
— ere fame has fully descended on them. 
Happily, however," he continued, " many of these 
portraits have not yet appeared, or when they do, now 
and again, it is to welcome an explorer home or a 
statesman's return to political life." 



After leaving the Daily Graphic, Mr. Sullivan had 
an interval as a free-lance, mainly occupied with maga- 
zine work— chiefly for the English Illustrated, then in 
its palmiest days under the McMillans, for which firm 
he has done a considerable amount of work, including 
several volumes in their excellent "Illustrated Standard 
Novels " and their exquisite " Cranford " series, not- 
able for the work contributed to it by one of our most 
delightful black and white men — Mr. Hugh Th mson. 
In the former he did the drawings for " Lavengro," in 
which some of his best work appears, for he found the 
book a " sympathetic " one, and for Marryat's " Pirate 
and the Three Cutters," published recently. In the 
" Cranford " series he did "Tom Brown's Schooldays" 
and Sheridan's "School for Scandal." For one or 
two of his pictures in " Tom Brown" he was severely 
taken to task by an irate person in the columns of the 
Daily Chronicle. The chief cause of complaint was 
the introduction of a syphon into one of the drawings, 
an article which this punctilious person pointed out 
with great indigation had not then been invented. 
But, as Mr. Sullivan justly observes, the passage in 
the book, "Oh England, young England," to which 
the illustration applies, is quite as applicable to the 
present as to the time when Judge Hughes penned it, 
and the book is not one of a season, but a " classic" 
equally applicable to the age of syphons as to that 
which managed to get along without these useful 
articles 

Curiously enough, some years ago, when nothing 
but blood and thunder appeared on the hoardings, Mr. 
Sullivan tried hard to get poster work, but was told 
that no artist need apply. These were the days 
before Mr. Dudley Hardy had like the Sun in Mr. 
Davidson's Ballad, taken Heaven by storm with his 
yellow girls and other brilliant samples of Art on the 
hoarding. 

Mr. Sullivan has also written and drawn a good 
deal for Mr. Latey, of the Penny Illustrated Paper, 
who made very praiseworthy efforts to make a great 
Church-goer of him as a series of eminent preachers 
done for that paper will bear witness. Then, when 
the Pall Mall changed into Mr. Astor's hands, he 
joined the Budget staff, and worked for it until its 
decease, illustrating many stories by Barry Pain, H. 
G. Wells, and Pett Ridge, and finishing up in great 
style with John Oliver Hobbes' "The Gods, Some 
Mortals, and Lord Wickenham." 

This brings Mr. Sullivan's record pretty much up to 
date, save that he has also illustrated a charmingly got- 



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QBedroom, ©tntng;(Room t anb ©raitnng;Q2oom ^utfee. 



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ADDRESS 



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up edition of Walton's " Complete Angler" for Messrs. 
J. M. Dent & Co., a firm noted for the dainty and 
exquisite productions which they publish. He has 
also done the pictures for one or two volumes in that 
remarkably cheap and excellent series of editions de 
luxe for the million, the Illustrated English Library, 
issued by Messrs. Service & Paton, to whose courtesy 
and kindness we are indebted for permission to re- 
produce his drawing of Noma of the Fitful Head from 
their edition of " The Pirate." 

As to Mr. Sullivan's work itself — well, example is 
better than precept, and I do not think I can give a 
better testimonial to its excellence than by referring the 
reader to the cleverly executed and very able character 
sketches which, through the kindness of the artist 
and his charming wife, we are able to reproduce with 
this issue. Editors are men who have no finer feelings, 
and the man who runs this paper is no exception to 
the rule, else surely I had written a paragraph exclus- 
ively devoted to the praise of Mrs. Sullivan, as a small 
token of gratitude for the kindly and considerate 
manner in which she tried to lighten your Showman's 
heavy task. However, when I compile my great 
work on charming wives who have distinguished 
husbands, of a verity she shall have a foremost place 
in the record. 

Space will not permit me to tell of how our inter- 
view closed with a gallant assault on the door knocker 
and the entrance of Mr. F. H. Townsend, a brother 
of the brush, who, when assured that I was quite 
harmless, kindly promised to be treated according to 
his deserts at a later date in these pages, or how with 
the kindliest thoughts of Mr. and Mrs. Sullivan's 
welcome, and a profound appreciation of the sentiments 
which animated the dual monarchy of Barataria, I 
took my departure into the night, 

" With the gratifying feeling that my duty had heen done." 

J. G. R. 



Aberdeen in the beginning of the Century, 



A JUMBLE OF JOTTINGS 

From the Memories of a Quiet Life. 



PRICE SIXPENCE. 



A. Brown & Co., Publishers, Aberdeen. 



THE NORTHERN FIGARO 

eOMES to the front with an Annual which is not 
for a year but for all time. It is really some- 
thing that is worth keeping. If variety is 
the spice of life, as some sage saith, then the flavour 
ought to be considerably improved by a perusal of 
this most marvellous sixpenny worth. Mark you it is 
only sixpence, and if you are not an Aberdonian and 
do not appreciate a bargain, you can buy a copy for 
charity, as the profits are to go to the poor children's 
" Day in the Country " Fund. 

Time availeth not to tell of the marvellous contents. 
The genial editor has impressed his literary friends, 
"whom he reckons up by dozens," into his service. 
And we have contributions by a score and a half of 
writers, amongst whom we note Hugh Haliburton, 
W. A. Mackenzie, J. M. Bulloch, John Strange 
Winter, J. G. Reid, and many others. But the 
pictures ! No one with a taste for Black and White 
art ought to miss them. We have counted 26 
different artists, including such names as Sauber, 
Hartrick, E. J. Sullivan, Sydney Paget, Chris 
Hammond, Sickert, etc., and some of them contribute 
several sketches. 

Besides these artists of world-wide fame some of 
our local artists, such as Mr. R. W. Hay, Mr. J. G. 
Murray, and Mr. Pickford, contribute charming 
sketches. The number is well printed on fine paper 
and issued in an ornamental cover. Don't forget to 
call early and secure a copy. 
IS** 

It is well that we can occasionally have what might 
be called a portable picture gallery, seeing that the 
Art Gallery in Schoolhill is more often closed than 
open. But all the same, after buying the Xmas Figaro 
you should take a walk round Brown's Fine Art 
Saloon, which is always open. And it has this ad- 
vantage that you can either pay without going in or go 
in without paying. Come before you forget about it. 



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ROM classic Broad 
Street with its 
books and its 
pungent smell of 
leather to the 
aroma of the 
Denburn, as in- 
haled from the 
top of the Mutton 
Brae, was not a 
far cry. I say, 
"was" advisedly — the present tense not 
being applicable — for while the first-named 
thoroughfare stands pretty much where it did 
in the early sixties, the Mutton Brae has 
gradually been erased, bit by bit, from off 
the face of maps of Aberdeen. But though 
the Mutton Brae and its immediate vicinity 
were probably less aristocratic than their 
neighbour, Broad Street, they bore a no less 
important part in the making of local history. 
There was no culvert then for the Denburn 
to run through, and in place of the Union 
Terrace Gardens was the " Woodie," known 
to the youth of the city as a happy hunting- 
ground in which to dodge the " bobbie " of 
the time, and a public bleach-green largely 
patronised by the good-wives of a bye-gone 
generation. The upper part of Schoolhill, 
and Woolmanhill, Blackfriars Street, and 
Black's Buildings, were all then spoken of as 
at the top of or beside the Mutton Brae. 



The " Brae " was shorn of its early-day glory 
when the " burn " was covered in, and the 
Great North of Scotland Railway extended 
its line to Kittybrewster via the Denburn 
Valley. Quite a coterie of worthies inhabited 
the neighbourhood I have thus summarised. 
A notable citizen, by name, William 
Morgan, by profession a barber, occupied a 
shop in Woolmanhill, as far back as my 
memory will carry me. He was an unlettered 
humorist, and did an extensive tonsorial 
trade in his little shop. Mr. Morgan did not 
strictly abide by the commandment, " six 
days shaltthou labour," for on the "seventh " 
he opened his establishment from 8 to 10 in 
the morning, and shaved as many of his 
regular customers as he could in the time at 
his disposal. His place of business con- 
sisted of a " but and a ben." In the former 
he manufactured hair soles and made-up 
wigs ; in the latter he shaved and cut hair. 
In those days there were no rotary hair 
brushes nor fancy "clippers." I am in- 
clined to think that the scissors used must 
have been made of iron, or of soft untempered 
steel, for an " edge " was wont to be put on 
the blades by means of a three-cornered 
file ! For razor cuts, which were not 
infrequent, the handy, though primitive 
" moose-wobs," i.e., spiders' webs, plentifully 
found in my first barber's shop, or a bit of 
beaver cut from the proprietor's silk hat 
were called into requisition. Mr. Morgan, or 
" Weelum," as his customers more frequently 
styled him, was a most energetic artist, and 
for speed could have held his own with 
the redoubtable, historical Sweeney Todd. 



ii 4 



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115 



He was barber in ordinary to the patients 
in the Royal Infirmary, and, I think, 
did similar personal duty at the Royal 
Lunatic Asylum. Well do I remember 
the short, thick-set, pudgy figure of this 
well-known citizen. The ruddy close- 
shaven face, displaying a twitching, 
humorous mouth, the merry twinkling eyes, 
stand out clear before me as I write. Mr. 
Morgan rarely wore a coat while at work, but 
his white shirt sleeves and long white apron 
were features of his general attire. He, of 
course, as was the general custom among 
tradesmen with places of business, wore a 
silk hat, with most of the beaver rubbed or 
brushed the wrong way. I think I hear his 
cheery voice trolling out a phrase which may 
be as new to the present generation as it was 
to me in the sixties : — " Good-bye. Hist-ye 
back ; speedy growth to the hair. The 
barbers' toast." It is many years since 
" Weelum " died, but, I take it, his loss was 
keenly felt, and not a few will look back 
with kindly recollections of this local Figaro. 

Another indispensable worthy was Matthew 
Deans, the chimney sweeper. "Mattha" 
lived in the Mutton Brae, and did a roaring 
trade. His was a much-dreaded person- 
ality, at least to the " infants in arms " part 
of the population, and many a " waukrife " 
child, when all other means had failed, 
would close its eyes in a sudden ecstacy 
when it was suggested that " Mattha " Deans 
would have to be sent for. The " Mattha " 
conjured up in his sooty garments in the 
little mind was a different individual indeed 
to what that good man was when his face 
was washed. Then he positively beamed 
with good nature and was a general favourite 
— especially among anxious, zealously clean 
housewives. 

" Broker " Christie was also a Woolman- 
hill and Mutton Brae tradesman. His was a 
shop in which almost everything, " from a 
needle to an anchor " in hardware, and 
furniture could be had. He was by trade a 
carpenter, and for years held the contracts 
for supplying coffins for the poorer patients 
who died in the Infirmary, and, if I mistake 
not, he also did similar service at the St. 
Nicholas Poorhouse. Mr. Christie was a 



bustling little man whose clothing was in- 
variably some sizes too big for his body. 
His trousers were so long that they had 
perforce to be rolled up at the feet. 

His coat was cut after the pattern of a 
more or less fashionable evening dress garment, 
and it never seemed to have been new, yet it 
never looked any older than on the first day 
I saw it on its owner. He wore the usual 
" lum " hat, stuck well back on his head ; 
and his waistcoat came well down over his 
stomach. The colour of his clothing was 
what is known as rusty black. One peculiarity 
of the " undertaking " business in those days 
has fixed itself fast in my mind. Among the 
poorer classes there was no such thing as a 
cloth-covered coffin. In many, very many 
cases, alas ! the wood was not even blackened, 
or, if it was, it but served to show the rough 
unplaned wood to greater advantage. And 
such a thing as " pitch run into the seams " 
was, I opine, unknown in the manufacture of 
those " shells " made to do service as coffins. 
What a change for the better has since then 
taken place, but who will deny that reform 
is not yet required ? 

Other notable citizens belonging to or 
residing about the " corner " included Mr. 
Andrew Sutherland, draper and hosier, who 
occupied the shop ultimately made famous 
by Mr. Wm. Morrison, and known but a few 
years back as the Collie's Brig Drapery 
Warehouse. Mr. Sutherland's place of 
business was spoken of in my boyhood days as 
the " shoppie down the steps " in Black's 
Buildings. On the pavement just where the 
pillar letter box stood, and still stands, 
Muslin Betty was wont to display her " light 
goods " department ; and in the afternoons in 
summer two and perhaps three fisher 
lassies or women sold " dulse, pepper dulse, 
and batherlocks." Mr. John Booth, watch- 
maker, whose shop was in the Upper- 
kirkgate, lived in No. 5 Black's Buildings ; 
Mr. Robert McWilliam, who had a small 
joiner's shop in Woolmanhill, and Mr. 
William Cay, of the firm of Mitchell & 
Cay, founder of the present successful firm 
of William Cay & Sons, both lived in No. 6 
of the Buildings referred to. Messrs. 
Mitchell & Cay carried on an extensive 



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117 



house carpentry business in (iarden Nook 
Close, beside the Well of Spa. A less 
notable, though not less known worthy who 
lived in the same house with Mr. McWilliam 
and Mr. Cay, was old Robert McKay, for 
long beadle in the Gaelic Church in Gaelic 
Lane. Robert was a weaver to trade, and in 
common with most of his class was a widely 
read and intelligent man. Quiet, inoffensive, 
modest, Mr. McKay was universally respected, 
and his somewhat tragic death caused much 
regret. Did space permit, I might mention 
such other names as George Brander, mason; 
George Mitchell, painter ("Brutus"), ; Robert 
Hay, grocer ("Robbie Hay, the merchan'"); 
but a more detailed reference may be made 
to these in a future article. 

Frank Clements. 



CUT IT SHORT. 

you've got a thought that's happy, 

Boil it down ; 
Make it short and crisp and snappy- 
Boil it down. 
When your brain its coin has minted, 
Down the page your pen has sprinted, 
If you want your effort printed, 
Boil it down. 

Take out every surplus letter — 

Boil it down ; 
Fewer syllables the better — 

Boil it down. 
Make your meaning plain — express it 
So we'll know, not merely guess it- 
Then, my friend, ere you address it, 

Boil it down. 

Boil out all the extra trimmings — 

Boil it down ; 
Skim it well, then skim the trimmings — 

Boil it down ; 
When you're sure 'twould be a sin to 
Cut another sentence in two, 
Send it on — and we'll begin to 

Boil it down. 



THE BOOK OF THE MONTH. 

The Royal Dee : A Description of the River 
from the Wells to the Sea. Written by ALEX. 
Inkson McConnochie ; Illustrated by J. G. 
Murray, A.R.E. Wm. Jolly & Sons, 
Aberdeen, 1898. pp. vii. + 161. 
From the date when Brown's "Guide to the High- 
lands of Deeside " was published in 1831, there 
have appeared from time to time guide books and 
also histories of portions of the Dee valley, 
but we are certain that the handsome quarto 
now issued cannot be approached by any of 
them, either as regards literary or artistic merit. 
The combination of pen and pencil brought to the 
production of this volume has been singularly happy, 
and the result is a description of the river from the 
Wells to the Sea which leaves little to be desired. 

Mr. McConnochie's familiarity with the whole 
ground, from the top of Braeriach to the Torry shore, 
enables him to act as a delightful and entertaining 
guide to the beautiful scenery of Deeside, which has 
many landscape pictures of surpassing beauty. 

The volume is divided into twelve stages, full 
chapters being given to Braemar, Balmoral, Ballater, 
Aboyne, and Banchory, while the other seven chapters 
form the connecting links between these points, the 
last covering the course of the river from Banchory to 
Aberdeen. But Mr. McConnochie does not confine 
himself wholly to description, for by legend, ballad, 
and story, he invests the various points along the 
valley with historical associations which make them 
stand out as objects yielding their quota to the 
general history of our country. 

Of the 91 illustrations with which Mr. Murray has 
enriched the volume, from the Wells on the top of 
Braeriach, where an ice axe is more than ample to 
bridge the infant river, to the harbour lights at Aber. 
deen that twinkley?;m, they are all most characteristic 
of the Dee and do ample justice to the subject in 
artistic execution. A specimen illustration appears on 
page 119. 

The book is tastefully bound in white buckram 
with suitable thistle decoration, and either for the 
library or the drawing-room table " The Royal Dee " 
should prove a most acceptable acquisition. We 
trust its success will be such as to induce the authors 
at no distant date to undertake a similar volume for 
the sister river. The Don, though not perhaps 
abounding in such richness of picturesque pictures, has 
still beauties wholly its own, M. 



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121 




No. 6.— MR. F. T. JANE. 



" r-p] 



( HROW physic to the clogs," our brilliant 
literary friend Mr. William Shakespeare 
remarked in one of his inspired moments. 
Another gentleman, also of much literary promise, to wit 
the late Mr. Massinger, has likewise spoken in no very 
reverent terms of the medical profession — 

Out, ye impostors ! 

Quick-salving, cheating mountebanks — your skill 

Is to make sound men sick, and sick men kill — 

while Churchill — not the lion-slayer, but another 
of the same — is hardly less severe when he writes — 

Most of the evils we poor mortals know 
From doctors and imagination flow. 

And now, as a last blow which ought to make our 
embryo medicine men turn from their evil ways while 
there is yet time, and follow some respectable pro- 
fession, such as bookselling, comes Mr. F. T. Jane, 
the genial artist, into whom I am privileged to stick pins 
this month, with the assertion that the medical man 
is his pet aversion, or rather divides that distinction 
with what he calls "the singer person" — one pro 
indiviso half of the said aversion falling on each, and his 
heirs, jointly and severally, as the lawyer bodies put 
it. While on this subject I may also put it on record 
that Mr. Jane hates Music Halls and all that pertains 
to them, dislikes theatres, and, save for a game at 
chess on occasion, can get along very comfortably 
without entertainment of any kind. Neither does he 
collect old china, coins (save those of the realm), 
autographs, or postage stamps, but believing never- 
theless, that it is always well to have a shot in the 
locker, he takes the original method of ensuring that 
this should be so by gathering together every species 
of shot and shell he can lay hands on, from a one 
pound shell to a 40 pounder 47 projectile. With the 
exception of these, the only Objects of Art in which 



he takes an interest, apart from those of his own pro- 
ducing (and so far as the last mentioned are 
concerned, he is not sufficiently vain to make it more 
than a fatherly one) are some envelopes addressed to 
him, and bearing on the back a big seal on which is 
the Russian Royal Arms. The Russians, by the way, 
were muchly taken up with his "Fighting Ships" 
book hereinafter mentioned, but more than this I am 
not at liberty to say. 

From his earliest infancy he took an interest in 
those who go down to the sea in ships. A son of the 
manse, his father being the Rev. J. Jane, Vicar of 
Upottery, Devon, he was born in 1865, ar >d from the 
first was intended for the Royal Navy. His health, 
however, was delicate, whether on account of an early 
development of his tendency to look upon doctors as 
abominations, history deponeth not, but at anyrate, 
to use his own phrase, the Navy business didn't come 
off. He was trained in the way he should go at 
Exeter School, and thus early his genius for black and 
white manifested itself in the production of a news- 
paper with the very unorthodox name of Toby, which 
he ran while at school. It cost twopence, and was 
undoubtedly worth the money, being set up by him- 
self and printed on a small hand-press, while the 
illustrations were "graphed." He ran it against the 
school paper till the Censor, otherwise the Head- 
master, stepped in and in quite Sultanic fashion 
suppressed it. This is not the only paper, however, 
that he has run. While doing the naval manoeuvres 
he used to issue an illustrated sheet called the Daily 
Liar. One year he lost all his luggage, and got on 
board with only the things he stood in. In the Liar 
there was a prize competition for " Limericks," and 
the poet of the vessel romped in an easy winner with 
the following lines commemorative of Mr. Jane's 
luggageless condition : — 




E 



a 
o 

t> 

PL, 






a 
o 

a 






Ji 



■5, 



Brown's Book-Stall. 



T23 



Our little Jane has but one shirt, 

One handkerchief smothered in dirt 

On which he wipes brushes 

And Indian ink crushes : 

I hope now his feelings aren't hurt. 

Apropos to the condition of his " nepkin " Mr. 
Jane admits that he has never got over the schoolboy 
habit of using a handkerchief as a blotting pad, though 
his wife, who is something of a humourist, has 
sought to cure him by marking on them all " Not to 
be used as a paint rag," to the occasional perturbation 
of folks whose eyes chance to alight on the legend. 
In the days of his youth, too, he painted a 
diorama with " bang-up explosions." It was ex- 
hibited at popular rates of admission in a loft over his 
father's coach-house, and had invariably large and en- 
thusiastic audiences. From Exeter he entered for the 
Sandhurst Exam., but failed to get in, yet this is a 
circumstance which no one who knows Mr. Jane 
and his work can profess to regret. What the 
Navy lost Literature and Art gained, and a 
man who can write such delightful fancies as 
"To Venus in Five Seconds," and draw as Mr. 
Jane does, is deserving of a better fate than becom- 
ing a mere Admiral of the Fleet. However, his love for 
the sea was not to be damped by any such trivial 
circumstance. Even in Heaven, like the mariners 
in Mr. Kipling's " Chantey," I can hardly believe that 
Mr. Jane would be at home without a strip of ocean 
handy. He would certainly join in the strike which 
the author of " Barrack Room Ballads " so graphically 
depicts — 

Loud sang the souls of the jolly, jolly mariners, 
Crying : " Under Heaven there is neither lead nor lea ! 

Must we sing for evermore 

On the windless glassy floor ? 
Take back your golden fiddles and we'll beat to open sea ! " 

Having almost perforce drifted into Art, he took up 
naval black and white work with conspicuous success, 
and has done excellent work for Black and White and 
the Illustrated London News, for the latter of which he 
has attended the naval manoeuvres, generally in torpedo 
craft, of the mysteries of which he has a better know- 
ledge than most people. On some of the experiences 
of this exhilarating work was based his first book, 
" Blake of the Rattlesnake," a story of future torpedo 
war, and in the little volume of drawings, "The 
Torpedo Book," issued by him through Messrs. 
Neville, Beeman, Ltd., he still further illustrates in a 
most graphic manner some of the highly exciting 
moments he has spent on board these craft. Of late, 



however, since he has had his Battle Ships book in 
hand, he has done practically nothing for any paper. 

The fact that Britain rules the waves in spite of 
" my only brother " with the mailed fist (who, by 
the way, Mr. Jane had the privilege of meeting 
on board the Deutschland) is one to which in- 
numerable bards and others have borne witness. 
Gratifying as the circumstance is, however, there 
are those amongst us like the little girl in the 
ballad — who, unfortunately so far as the gratifica- 
tion of her own curiosity was concerned, was a little 
too young for the purpose — who haveji like^thirst for 




knowledge as to how the thing is done. No popular 
success can be attained without the public pining to 
know the minutest particulars, even to the colour of the 
hair of the cook of the cousin of the man who scored it, 
and it is but right that the most searching inquiry should 
be made as to how the wonderful feat referred to in 
the patriotic ballad which in the same breath conveys 
the interesting intelligence that Britons never never 
will be slaves, is accomplished. This is what Mr. 
Jane tells us in his pictures — pictures which show how 
it is done, and illustrate the secret of England's 
greatness and the proudest of our possessions — >with 



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ABERDEEN AWA' 

Sketches of its Men, Manners, and Customs. 

By GEORGE WALKER. 

With For l raits and Illustrations. 



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'25 



the probable exception of our Highlanders — our Navy. 
Lordly 67-ton gun armour-plated battle ships, like the 
Royal Sovereign, swift-sailing cruisers, death-dealing 
torpedo boats and cunning torpedo catchers — with all 
of them he is familiar, and by his graphic illustrations 
of such and kindred naval scenes and incidents has 
done far more to educate the public mind to a true 
appreciation of how Britannia rules the waves than 
could ever be attained by the spoken word of the 
most " forward " of politicians. A word in the ear of 
mine friend of Germany (for fuller title see speeches of 
his " only brother") — when next he would impress his 
people with the importance of passing a naval vote, 
let him secure, for a consideration, the services of Mr. 
Jane to place the matter on a pictorial basis. It will 
be a busy day for the shipbuilding yards when he does, 
and a less harassing one for the Chinese. 

Mr. Jane's love of the sea has led him into some 
highly exciting adventures. During the Chilian war 
he went out " on spec" sketching, but he confesses it 
was not a good "spec." He was on board the 
Almirante Condell when the Blanco Encolada was 
torpedoed, but in a moment of confidence has con- 
fided in me that he heard little and saw less of 
the event for two very excellent reasons — 

(1) Because he was sea-sick, and 

(2) Because he had been put to shovel coal by 
inartistic Chilians, and, as he graphically puts it, 
was "in a devil of a funk as to what a shot 
in the boilers would mean." 

Though Mr. Jane, with a modesty that sits very 
well upon him, makes very little of the part 
he played in this exciting little drama, there 
is no doubt that his conduct during the whole 
of the war was of the pluckiest and most 
daring nature. He warns me (having a fine sense of 
humour) that I am not to draw too largely on my 
imagination in relating this portion of the story of his 
career, but for this I can assure him there was really 
no necessity, more especially as his adventures and 
escapes from "sudden death" were a good deal 
more thrilling than any I could invent. Finally he 
got pretty nearly shot as a spy, and escaped, he adds 
with a twinkle, on the ground of probable insanity ! 

While " doing" the naval manoeuvres for his paper 
Mr. Jane has gone through ordeals both of fire and 
of water, and the stories he can tell when the natural 
shyness of his disposition has been overcome by such 
a person as myself, are highly diverting to hear, though 
not quite so entertaining to experience. To his un- 



questionable skill as an artist, he adds a very 
intimate knowledge of naval matters. Nor does his 
versatility end here, for he writes as well as he 
draws, and to his credit must already be placed 
several excellent books. Since he took to the climb- 
ing of Parnassus his success has been greater (and 
it must be confessed better earned) than that 
which falls to the lot of most young authors. 
I have already referred to " Blake of the Rattle- 
snake," as thrilling a book as the heart could 
desire. It was followed by " The Incubated 
Girl," which achieved the distinction of being more 
slashed than most books. "We tremble for the 
author's brain " remarked the Hull Daily Mail, 
evidently realising that it was paid to be funny. 
" A hideous nightmare of a book ... a pro- 
stitution of human intelligence," added, with 
Christian charity, the Sheffield Independent. After 
so valuable expressions of opinion it is unnecessary to 
say more. Of the merits of his third venture, "To 
Venus in Five Seconds," however, I can speak from 
personal experience, for I read it at a sitting the 
other night, and as a consequence got to bed as 
Sarah Jane was bringing up my shaving water. To 
tell the truth it is a capital little fancy, improbable if 
you like, even absurd if you insist upon it, but all the 
same excellently told and desperately exciting. To 
it Mr. Jane contributed some characteristic pictures in 
happy keeping with the text. His latest book, 
"The Lordship, the Passen and We" is a story of 
rural Devonshire, mercifully not in dialect. Of course 
I need not enforce the moral of all this — it is obvious 
to the most ordinary intelligence that those same 
volumes can be had from Messrs. Brown & Coy. at the 
usual price, with a smile from the Editor for cash 
down. 

Mr. Jane's magnum opus in the book-making, as 
well as in the artistic line, is, however, the volume on 
which he was engaged when I had the temerity to 
insist, if only for the sake of his health, that he should 
vary the occupation by telling me something about 
himself. To his credit, be it said, he at once saw my 
philanthropic motives, and fell in with the humour of 
the situation that a busy man working 16 hours a day 
should pause in the earning of his bread and butter in 
order to supply a bloated capitalist with " copy." 
Be this as it may, his latest book, " All the World's 
Fighting Ships," (published in a very handy and 
elegant style by Messrs. Sampson, Low, £r Coy.) 
is a stupendous work, and if, as a philosopher 



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or some equally irresponsible person has re- 
marked, there is a dignity in labour which sur- 
passeth that of kings, then verily Mr. Jane 
should be a very exalted person indeed. In the 
volume in question are given particulars in four 
languages, English, French, German, and Italian as 
to the fighting weight, the equipment, and general 
appearance of all the world's war ships, while 
over 1000 ships are accurately illustrated by Mr 
Jane. Indeed the original drawings, if spread out, 
would make a 6 inch line all round the largest iron- 
clad afloat ! As a sample of monumental industry on 
the part of the compiler and artist, this invaluable 
work would be hard to beat. It has, naturally 
enough, aroused a vast amount of interest, not only 
here, but in almost every Capital in the world, where, 
by the way the book was put on sale a few days after 
publication in London, and has been fortunate enough 
to meet with the approval and the support not only of 
many Foreign Governments, but of his august 
Majesty the Kaiser, and his martyred relative, the 
latter of whom was good enough to compliment Mr. 
Jane personally on his splendid work. While on the 
subject of this volume Mr. Jane told me a rather good 
story with reference to it. One sentence in the book reads 
— "This ship, like most English cruisers, has very 
raking funnels," which one of the translators turned 
into "This ship, like most English cruisers, has 
most obscene looking funnels." Which, as Mr. Jane 
remarked, is funny if printable. 

In addition to his other accomplishments Mr. Jane 
designs posters, and is also an inventor, having about 
a year since completed a naval Kriegspiel, at 
which he has been working for a long time. It has 
not been published yet, being, as he calls it, too brain 
fagging, but he is shortly to lecture about it at the 
United Service Institution. 

Whatever may be thought of Mr. Jane's rather 
unorthodox views on the medical profession already 
referred to, it cannot be denied that he possesses the 
saving grace of humour, as witness the "happy 
thought " that prompted him to have the floor of his 
studio painted with huge footsteps — each about 12 
inches square. But even down to the circumstances 
under which he likes to work he is original, for not- 
withstanding his antipathy to the "singer man," he 
prefers to write to the strains of a barrel organ. 
There is another author who lives a door or two from 
him who does not, which is perhaps not altogether 
surprising. The net result he invites me to fill in — 



I prefer, however, to leave it to the imagination of the 
reader. 

As to the future, Mr. Jane is not content to rest on 
his laurels. A book consisting of a story somewhat 
after the style of "To Venus in Five Seconds," is already 
in hand. It deals, however, with this world and a 
subject never done before, and is to be heavily 
illustrated by the author. But there is no limit to the 
fertile ingenuity of the man, and to what he may 
next turn his hand it would be rash to prophesy and 
hard to say. There is no damping his ardour, no 
abating his enthusiasm. Whatever his hand findeth 
to do is clone according to the scriptural injunction, 
and of a verity his versatility is not to be lightly 
reckoned with. Artist, author, and inventor as well, 
he reminds one of Mr. Kipling's Marine, only more 
so— 

For there isn't a job on the top o' the earth the beggar 
don't know nor do — 

You can leave 'im at night on a bald man's 'ead to paddle 
'is own canoe — 

'E's a kind of a giddy harumfrodite— 

artist and author too ! J. G. R. 

ALL THE WORLD'S FIGHTING 
SHIPS. 

Written and Illustrated by Fred. T. Jane. Over 
400 Pictures of Ships. Oblong cloth, 10/6 net. 

The text is in English, French, German, and Italian, and the 
body of the wo;k consists of carefully authenticated portraits 
of every warship of any fighting value whatever. A special 
point is made of noting any slight difference of detail between 
sister ships, characteristic peculiarities, and the like, whi e the 
system of arrangement is such that the name of a strange 
vessel can be discovered immediately. 



To be had from A. Brown & Co., Aberdeen. 



8 



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Kinds Bound y/^Jj 

At Lowest xV^ 

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No. 43. 



March, i 



Price One Penny 



IN THE FIFTIES. 







EFORE coming to Aberdeen 
Mr. Gillies had a brilliant 
phonographic record, being 
thoroughly acquainted with 
the art theoretically and 
practically. In 1846 he 
edited and published in 
Edinburgh The Northern Reformer, part 
written in phonography and part printed in 
phonotypy. He was one of the earliest 
in Scotland, if not the first, to issue a 
magazine devoted to the writing and printing 
reform. He frequently lectured and taught 
classes in Edinburgh, which were well 
attended and very successful. On one occasion 
the chair was taken by Professor Wm. 
Gregory, at that time Professor of Chemistry 
in Edinburgh University, formerly occupying 
the same chair at King's College, Old 
Aberdeen. In introducing Mr. Gillies he 
spoke highly of his qualifications as a 
reporter and of his ability as a teacher, and 
stated to the meeting that he was personally 
able to testify to this, as he had been under 
his tuition, and was glad to have the oppor 
tunity of thus publicly acknowledging. 
Professor Gregory was a man of varied talent, 
and was one of the first to take an active 
part in promoting and aiding the phonetic 
cause. As a public educationist his services 
to it were of great value in its early days. 

When in Aberdeen Mr. Gillies devoted a 
considerable part of his spare time to the 



promotion of phonography and phonotypy. 
As a labour of love he had several classes 
which were very well attended and with 
excellent results. In 1852 Mr. Dewar, a 
dentist in the city, who was at one time 
President of the Mechanics' Institution, 
invented a reporting machine which created 
some interest at that time. It consisted of a 
tube, one end of which was fitted with a 
mouthpiece, and the other was capable of 
being moved by the foot to any one of six 
rooms, in each of which there was a longhand 
writer. The reporter read from his notes a 
sentence to the first longhand writer, another 
to the second and so on till the six were 
served, and then commenced again with the 
first. On the completion of a line it was 
despatched to the composing room and set 
up by the compositors. It does not appear 
to have been ever applied to practical news- 
paper reporting. Mr. Gillies, however, carried 
out a scheme of a somewhat similar kind. A 
public dinner was to be held on a Friday 
evening ; it was a most important gathering, 
and a full report was very desirable. 
Publishing day was Saturday, and with only 
one reporter it seemed impossible to 
accomplish it. Mr. Gillies, however, was 
equal to the occasion. He prepared a 
number of slips Of paper about seven inches 
long and four wide, these were printed with 
the letters A B C 1) E F at the top of each. 
The slips were then ruled with the same 
number of lines, and the lines numbered 
1, 2, 3, and so on, a space being left on the 
side of each for gumming them together. Mr. 
Gillies went to the dinner, took all the 



Brown's Book-Stall. 




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speeches in shorthand up to 12 o'clock, 
then went to the office and with six quick 
longhand writers he commenced reading his 
notes to them one after the other and kept 
them writing as fast as their pens could go. 
For instance he gave A " It should always be 
remembered that facility " who would write 
this on line 1, and then B would get "in 
reading is as essential as rapidity in writing," 
this B would write on his line 1. He con- 
tinued in this manner till he reached F 
when it would be A's turn to commence 
again, and so on. By this means the Aberdeen 
Herald was able to produce the speeches, 
occupying four and a half columns of printed 
matter, in the Saturday's paper. In this 
there was a very striking proof of the 
legibility of Mr. Gillies' writing, and of 
his capability as a reporter in reading right 
off from his shorthand notes, and these 
written too at about an average rate of 160 
words a minute. 

Towards the close of 1849, James K. 
Edwards, reporter in the Aberdeen Journal, 
opened a class for teaching Phonography 
in a room of the Mechanics' Institution. 
He was an excellent writer and a capital 
teacher. After leaving Aberdeen he went 
to Canada and joined the staff of the 
Toronto Globe. At this class there were two 
pupils with the same initials, whose literary 
productions have often appeared in the 
Aberdeen newspapers during the past forty 
years. They are the well known W.C., 
William Carnie and William Cadenhead 
Both have struck the lyre with considerable 
success, and we recognise them as Bards of 
Bon-Accord. Carnie's " Waifs of Rhyme," 
and Cadenhead's " Flights of Fancy," are the 
outcome of their poetic gifts, and are highly 
appreciated by their fellow-citizens. The 
class was a small one, and I do not know 
whether Mr. Cadenhead became skilled in 
the " Winged Art," but Mr. Carnie found in 
shorthand a friend, to use his own happy 
phrase, " that served him well." After he 
began the study he pursued it with great 
assiduity, and in the early mornings he 
was busy with his friend, Mr. Charles 
Morrison, who read to him, while he 
practised writing, and who has many pleasing 



recollections of the hours spent with the 
young enthusiast, who was determined to 
acquire it for practical purposes. Mr. 
Morrison got from such services an inspiration 
to do so likewise, and he is and has been for 
long a swift writer and an ardent phonographer. 
So well did Mr. Carnie prosecute this study 
that in May, 1850, he became a member of 
the Phonetic Society with ai before his 
name, indicating that he could write too 
words a minute, and was willing to correct 
the exercises of learners who might apply for 
his help. The Phonetic Journal announced 
the new member as William Carnie, Inspector 
of Poor, Banchory-Devenick, Ruthrieston. 

Mr. Carnie was also precentor of the 
Parish Church, conductor of a Musical 
Association in Aberdeen, and reporter for 
the North of Scotland Gazette, but his cheery, 
blythesome perseverance carried him through 
it all with great success. Yet amid all his 
work he had time to help others with their 
shorthand studies. Several young men, his 
companions, spent their spare time in the 
study of music and phonography under his 
guidance and help. Wm. Murray, a young 
lithographer, w r as one of these, and in whom 
Mr. Carnie was greatly interested. After 
acquiring skill and neatness in shorthand he 
introduced Mr. Murray to Mr. Isaac Pitman, 
by whom he was engaged to go to Bath 
to do the finer transfer writing for his 
publications. Mr. Pitman announced that 
he had engaged Mr. Wm. Murray of 
Aberdeen, a lithographic shorthand writer, 
whose specimen promises that in a few 
months he will excel anything that has 
been produced at the Phonetic Institute. 
Mr. Murray fulfilled this prediction ; the 
publications of the period issued from 
Bath being gems of lithographic short- 
hand writing. Mr. Murray left for Australia 
after remaining in Mr. Pitman's employment 
for some time, and on the voyage he had 
some books covered with spoiled copies of 
some of the phonographic publications. As 
he was reading several of the passengers saw 
the mysterious caligraphy, and on its being 
explained what it was, not a few of them had 
lessons on the way out, which made the 
voyage more pleasurable and interesting to 



, :- Srown's Book-Stall. 



DOM ESTIC flKTIC LES. 

ACCOUCHMENT SHEETS— 2/-, 2/6, 3/6, 4/6, 5/6, 6/6. 

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BABIES' BIBS AND PILCHERS— 6d, 9c!., 2/-, 2/6. 

BREAST EXHAUSTERS AND BINDERS— 2/-, 2/6, 

5/6, and 7/6. 

WATERPROOF BED SHEETING— Single Texture, 
36 in. Wide, 2/- and 2/6 per yard ; Double Texture, 
36 in. Wide, 3/6 and 4/- per yard. 

LADIES' CHEST EXPANDERS— 2/6, 3/6, 4/6. 

THE NEW ACME BRACE— 5/6, 6/6, 7/6. 

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Hot Water Bottles, 4/6, 6/6, 8/6, 10/6. Draught Tubing, i^d., 2d., 3d. per foot. 
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Water Pillows. Air Cushions and Pillows. Waterproof Collars and Cuffs. Sponge Bags. 
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52 GUILD STREET, ABERDEEN 

(OPPOSITE RAILWAY STATION). 



Brown's Book-Stall. 



l 33 



those who availed themselves of Mr. Murray's 
help. On arriving in Australia he soon 
devoted himself to teaching phonography, 
and was the first to get it introduced as a 
subject to be taught in the Melbourne Public 
Schools. He published the Australian 
Phonographic News, which was beautifully 
lithographed and very much admired for its 
accurate and beautiful outlines of phono- 
graphic writing. He was also connected 
with the newspaper press, publishing and 
editing the Emerald Hill News. After 
remaining for some years in the Colony he 
left for the United States, where he was a 
professional shorthand writer at the White 
House, Washington. For a long time after 
he left Aberdeen he corresponded with his 
friend, Mr. D; Taylor, of Taylor & Henderson, 
who was associated with him in the same 
business when they were young men. Mr. 
Murray died many years ago, but he is by 
not a few remembered as a pleasant com- 
panion, a good musician, and an expert 
phonographer. When Mr. Gillies left the 
Al?erdee?i Herald Mr. Carnie was appointed 
his successor, and then began his real press 
career, a career to which he says " I look 
back with unclouded delight." It was a busy, 
hopeful, interesting time. When sub-editor 
and reporter of the Herald, attending to its 
daily duties, he acted as correspondent for 
the Times and Scotsman, also contributing a 
column weekly of county and city gossip for 
the Banffshire Journal. His contributions 
to the press, whether in the form of paragraph, 
poetry, descriptive sketches, or biographical 
notices, are marked by elegance of diction, 
a deft and delicate touch, combining taste, 
fancy, pathos, and humour, which are 
characteristic of true literary genius and 
culture. 

In June, 1854, in the advertising columns 
of the Aberdeen Herald appeared the 
following :— 



C 



These mystic characters, to the initiated 
reading — " Time saved is time gained," 
announcing that Mr. Carnie would open a 
class for the teaching of Phonography in 



Donaldson's School, Pack Wynd, on the 
mornings of Monday and Thursday at six 
o'clock The Free Press, in noticing the 
announcement, said — " Mr. Carnie is a rapid 
and elegant writer of Phonetic Shorthand, 
and we know few that will excel him." Many 
shook their heads at the bold experiment, 
but like all Mr. Carnie's enterprises it was a 
success. No fewer than 60 enrolled them- 
selves as pupils, and I persume several found 
it a great service to them in their after life as an 
aid to business or intellecutal pursuits. The 
writer of these reminiscences had the pleasure 
of taking the morning class when Mr. Carnie 
was prevented by indisposition, and he well 
remembers how attentive and interested the 
pupils were in their work. 

During subsequent years Mr. Carnie was 
helpful in promoting phonography by attend- 
ing meetings and otherwise. When in 1862 
he received the appointment of clerk and 
treasurer to the Royal Infirmary and Asylum, 
he relinquished his official connection with 
the press. The office to which he was 
appointed he has since held with credit to 
himself and with the highest satisfaction to 
the directors and the public. It could not 
be otherwise ; he is punctual and attentive to 
his duties, and with kindly consideration 
and deep sympathy he helped in a way 
which but few public officials know how, to 
lighten the burden and sorrow of those who 
required the aid, and who were unacquainted 
with those forms which were necessary to 
secure the help of such valuable institutions. 
It is only the other day that an appreciative 
public gave testimony to the value of Mr. 
Carnie's public services, the best citizens of 
a present and former generation taking part 
in the interesting ceremony. May the in- 
creased leisure which he now enjoys be 
fruitful of much happiness and all good in 
the future which is yet before him. 



PURSES, 



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& Card Cases, 



A. BROWN & CO., Stationers, 
Dealers in Leather Goods, 
83 & 85 Union Street, ABERDEEN. 



134 



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FOR 



GOOD 



SPRING HAS COME, 

^^UT don't Ik- afraid. We arc not going to let 

Y) loose our Spring Poet on you. No ; but the 
^y Spring poet is not the only terror that stalks 
abroad at this season. The Spring Cleaning 
will soon be upon us, and it behooves us all to be 
prepared for it. We are preparing by getting in a good 
stock of Fire Screens, Grate ORNAMENTS, and such 
like. The thermometer may not register grate orna- 
ments(Uo you see it ?) yet, but it is as well to be in time. 

When the bright sunshine streams in at the window 

and falls upon the 

pictures which 

adorn your walls, 

do you notice how 

black some of the 

frames are getting? 

and the gilding 

rubbed off others. 

Are you aware 

that you can make 

the old frames 

almost as good 

as the new by 

touching them up 

with RlSTONA 

Gold ? The 
renovation can be 
done so cheaply 
too. The gold 
costs only 6d. and 
is. the bottle. 
And then you 
need not stop 
short at the pic- 
ture frames. There 

are plenty other things about the house which can be 
decorated with the gold ; while really fine effects can 
be got by using some of the coloured bronzes along 
with it. We can show you samples in our saloon at 
83 Union Street of articles decorated with bronze and 
gold, such as bamboo tables, newspaper or music 
racks, and statuettes. There are a thousand and one 
little things about a house which can be beautified 
with it. And when you once begin to touch up the 
nick-nacks, you will soon find that you want a six- 
penny tube of SECCOTINE to mend the things that 
have got broken. It is the best and handiest cement 
for mending glass, china. metal, or wood. 



For sticking paper, on the other hand, gum is better, 
and the best way to apply it is to use Juuson's 
Patent GUMMERS, 6d. and is., according to size. 
The cleanest gum-pot in existence, always ready and 
tio messing. 



STATIONERY 



GO TO 

BROWN'S 

BOOK-STALL. 



BOOKS TO BUY. 

We have just got in three new books which ought 
to command a good sale, and afford readers a few 
pleasant hours. One is " Shrewsbury," a romance by 
Stanley Weyman, with 24 illustrations by Claude A. 
Shepperson. The second is "The Tragedy of the 

Korosko " by 
Conan Doyle, 
with forty full- 
page illustrations. 
The third is 
"Simon Dale" by 
Anthony Hope, 
with eight illustra- 
tions. Owing to 
the tribulations of 
stocktaking w e 
have not yet had 
time to read them, 
but considering 
they are by three 
such good men 
and true, any one 
of them is sure to 
be good value for 
the 4s. 6d. spent 
upon it. We hope 
before we meet 
again next month 
to have read them 
all, and may then 
be able to give the straight tip. 

Speaking of tips, have you ever tried Brown's 
Bon-Accord Pen ? It does not scratch nor spurt, 
and only costs 6d. a box. 

Messrs Oliphant, Anderson, & Kerrier have just 
issued a charming edition of Sir Walter Scott's 
Poetical Works at 10s. . in four volumes, with 
fine frontispieces, and printed in a clear, readable 
type. It is an ideal edition for comfortable 

reading. 



m 



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'35 



EXTRAVAGANT ADVERTISING. 

" Up on the headquarters of the Kentucky River, 
where the mountains hedge the world in," said a 
Michigan traveller, " I came across a little store one 
day at the forks of the road. There wasn't a house in 
sight, which didn't mean so much perhaps, in view of 
the fact that one couldn't see a half-dozen hundred 
yards in any direction for the mountains, and I 
wondered where the merchant's trade came from. I 
stopped to talk to him a while, just to see what 
business was like in such an out-of-the-way place, and 
I found him quite a chatty kind of a fellow. 

" ' There's one thing about it, anyway,' said I, after 
we had talked a little, ' you don't have to spend much 
money in advertising.' 

" ' That's so ; and there's something saved in that, 
I reckon.' 

" ' Still,' I said for my side, ' if a man advertises 
right there's money in it.' 

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" ' But you have never tried it.' 

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store down in one of the Blue Grass towns about seven 
years ago, and, by cracky, the fust three months I was 
in business I spent 17/6 fer advertisements ! ' 

"'Horrors!' I exclaimed, 'it's a wonder such 
extragance didn't ruin you." 

" His face dropped until I could have stepped on it. 

" That's jist what it done, mister,' he said lugu- 
briously ; ' I busted higher 'n a kite afore six months.' 

" As I rode away I wondered what the man would 
have thought if he had been suddenly told how much 
money was paid out in the country every day for what 
he had given 17/6 for in a whole lifetime." 



From the Ledger of A. Brown 



Co. 



A COSTER PROPOSAL. 

Sarah ! carn't yer see as 'ow I loves yer ? 

Loves yer so as life 'olds nuffin' more ? 
Carn't yer tell, the wye as 'ow I shoves yer ? 

I don't 'it the wye I usedter 'it before. 

It's all acos I loves yer, Sal. I sye 
Carn't yer gie us just a little 'ope ? 

Wat ! yer says yer loves me, loves me dearly- 
Let us 'ave a good un, then — let's slope. 

S. W. C. 



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36 



Brown's Book-Stall. 




No. 7.— MR. T. E. DONNISON 




UCH has been written 
about the hobbies of 
famous men. Lord 
Charles Beresford, 
we know, when not 
looking after the 
Navy or fighting by- 
elections by means of 
those "breezy" 
speeches so happily 
hit off by the poet — 

They say the sailor's speech was long and " breezy " ; 

But wouldn't there have been a pretty shindy 
If you had gone the further length, quite easy, 

Of saying that the sailor's speech was windy ! 

indulges in carpentering ; our own Mr. Bryce, when 
Dot replying to the giddy Socialists of South Aberdeen, 
has a weakness for mountaineering ; Lady Dilke in 
her spare moments accumulates Aldines, Elzevirs, and 
Stephens ; the Archbishop of Canterbury, having 
plucked the weekly instalment of brands from the 
burning, loves a little light literature ; while Mr. 
II. S. Maxim takes his pleasure sadly by studying the 
abstract sciences. Much publicity also has been given 
to the names of those works which have influenced the 
great (among which, it is almost unnecessary to say, 
Brown's Book- Stall takes a high place), and to the 
particular events which have proved turning points in 
their careers. "There's a Divinity that shapes our 
ends " the Bard of Avon once remarked with some 
truth, for it was the kick from a playmate, it will be 
recollected, that infused vigour into Sir Isaac Newton 
and goaded him into the apple business, while the 
advice of a female person whom he used to walk out 
o' nights was instrumental in inducing Hugh Miller 
to give up the primitive delights of being a stone 
mason in order to become a scholar. A chance 



remark, History tells us, led Samuel Morse to invent 
the telegraph — which emphasises the fact that we 
should always be careful what we say in company, 
for we may be unwittingly giving away a good thing — 
while, to quote the words of one of his biographers, it 
was because Maria Millis, a simple serving maid 
without even the customary trace of bellelettrie, had 
" planted the seeds of that resolve in his heart before 
he was six years of age " that Anthony Ashley Cooper, 
Earl of Shaftesbury, was guided to a noble life. Even 
the sayings which distinguished people swear by have 
been duly chronicled — the Editor tells me he has not 
been influenced by any in particular, though he knows 
several which he has found most helpful in influencing 
others, but unfortunately for the public weal they are 
hardly printable — while Mr. Stead has put it on record 
that Lord Dufferin has found inspiration in the fact 
that " They also serve who only stand and wait"; 
that John Burns has endeavoured to remember that 
" The world is my country and to do good is my 
religion " — by the issue of manifestoes or otherwise ; 
and that Mr. Labouchere believes it is best " To speak 
the truth and shame the devil " — a maxim which it 
must be confessed he has not failed to act up to. 
Even the favourite dishes and the love stories of 
distinguished people have not escaped the eagle eye of 
the enterprising chronicler. So far as the former is 
concerned everybody knows that not even one of 
Jimmy Hay's seven course dinners with the finest 
wines that W. Walker & Sons could sell you equals in 
the estimation of Mr. Phil May a meal of which the 
chief item is Irish stew, while in the matter of love 
stories it is gratifying to think that, in spite of 
Chaucer's sarcastic comment — 

Marriage is such a rabble rout, 

That those who are out would fain get in 
And those who are in would fain get out, 




oq 



Brown's Book-Stall. 



»39 



even among our "Old Nobility" the forging of the 
golden fetter is not always a failure. In this respect 
artists seem a peculiarly favoured class. Tintoretto, 
we are told, married Faustina and lived in a beautifully 
carved, white, Gothic house. She was a model wife, 
and used to wrap up his money in a handkerchief for 
him. and enjoin him to render a strict account of his 
intromissions when he came back. She was also very 
particular about his dress — firstly that he should always 
wear the robe of a Venetian citizen when he left home, 
and secondly that said garment should be taken care 
of on rainy days. Rembrandt also did well, for Mrs 
R. not only brought him a considerable fortune, but 
was also a fortune in herself. Rubens had for a 
second wife one of the richest and most beautiful girls 
in all Flanders ; Hogarth and Gainsborough were like- 
wise fortunate, while Romney had a much better wife 
than he deserved, in view of the fact that he found it 
necessary to paint " the divine" Lady Hamilton some 
forty-one times in all. 

All this lengthy preamble, however, by way of 
preliminary to pointing out that no reliable work has 
as yet been compiled on the deeds from which 
distinguished people derive the most satisfaction, and 
as a first instalment to the production of such, I put 
it on record that when Mr. T. E. Donnison (to whom 
the reader will please consider himself hereby intro- 
duced) is indulging in his one antidote to the cares and 
perplexities incidental to the pilgrim's life, and which 
beset the path of the just, to wit a game at golf, the 
best drives he makes, and those from which he obtain s 
alike the maximum of pleasure and of progress are those 
when the ball represents to his fertile imagination the 
head of some unappreciative Editor ! 

" O that mine enemy were celebrated that he also 
might be described in the Rook-Stall" is doubtless the 
feelings of many a victim, the secrets of whose happy 
home are laid bare to an unsympathetic public, for of 
a verity the fierce light that beats upon a throne is as 
but a farthing candle to a Bray compared with the 
inquisitorial process which the hapless artist under- 
goes who is offered up on the sacrificial altar of these 
pages. " It's an ill win' that blaws naebody guid," 
or to put it as the Editor would express it — poetically, 
" Darkest clouds have silver linings" At least so says 
the Old Proverb and the equally unreliable Poet, but 
Old Proverbs and New Poets are not to be spoken of 
lightly. And even the Rontgen-ray sort of scrutiny 
already referred to is no exception to the rule. It 
also has its advantages, for it enables the artist, among 



other things, to act up to the Scriptural injunction to 
" Know thyself," and is, moreover, a means whereby 
many virtues hidden even from the victim himself 
are made unmistakably obvious. A case in point is 
that of Mr. T. E. Donnison. Until I had the hardi- 
hood to request him to furnish without further delay 
the fullest particulars of his career, he told me he was 
quite unaware that he had one. A man, to say nothing 
of a woman, without a past is like a nobleman without 
an ancestor, or a Society Beauty without — not Some- 
body's Soap, but Somebody's " Bouquet Bloom '- 
none of them can afford to be without it. As a pass- 
port to the most select circles a career — the more 
notorious the better— is invaluable, and for anyone to 




MR. T. K. DONNISON. 

wander through the world ignorant of so valuable a pos- 
session, cannot but severely handicap himself in Life's 
journey. Therefore, if I have caused Mr. Donnison. 
as a modest man, much suffering by exhibiting him in 
public, I still feel that there is a contra side to the 
account, and that had I not placed him on the line, 
so to speak, and invited all and sundry to behold what 
manner of man he is, the many rare virtues which, 
after considerable research, I have discovered he 
possessed, might for ever have remained unknown 
even to himself. This somewhat garrulous apologia 
is rendered necessary because of one of the harrowing 
pictures which Mr. Donnison has sent for publica- 
tion, and which is intended to represent how acutely 
he suffered during the trial by ordeal. The other 



40 



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delightfully humorous drawing will readily be 
recognised as merely a repetition in subject matter of 
the first mentioned, antedated, however, to a period 
of which neither of the primitive gentlemen depicted 
have any immediate recollection. 

The hitherto undiscovered career of Mr. Donnison 
began, curiously enough, almost before his birth in the 
early sixties. He was designed by his father for the 
legal profession — his articles being practically arranged 
before he saw the light. After a liberal education in 
the classics and football at Rugby, which, by the way, 
he speaks of as the best school in the world, he began 
to learn the mysteries of English Law — a profession 
which, from the first, he admits having found dibtaste. 
ful. For fifteen years he stuck to it, ten of which 
were spent in practice as a solicitor in a large seaport 
town in the North of England. But even 
a solicitor will turn, and at the end of this 
period he considered he had had enough of 
it, so he gave up the drawing of deeds for 
that of pictures — the gentle art after which 
he had yearned ever since he could hold a 
pen. The serving of his indentures in the 
new profession did not take long, for the 
work was congenial, and if the table of 
fees was not at first on so liberal a scale as 
an Executry or a Factorship— or whatever 
may be the English equivalent thereof — 
would have provided, the duties were 
infinitely more entertaining. After a few 
months' study from the life, he came to 
London, where he had the benefit of tuition 
under one of his personal friends, M . H. 
Evans. Four years of the most enjoyable 
work followed, and these have brought him 
a measure of success which he says he 
scarcely had hoped for. The plunge from 
the solemnities of the Law to the labours 
of a humorous artist was, to use his own 
words, a cold one, but he has never 
regretted his decision to take it. 

In the few years he has devoted to black 
and white work — -for in the army of illus- 
trators Mr. Donnison is a comparatively 
young recruit, though the quality of his 
work almost belies the assertion— he has 
contributed to considerably over thirty 
different illustrated papers, including that 
friend of our youth, the Boy's Own Paper, 
in which some of his happiest conceits have 
appeared, and To-Day (to which he con- 



tributed a capital series in the prehistoric vein). His 
debit! was made in the publications of Mr. fames 
Henderson of Red Lion Court, and the encouragement 
he received there, like the efforts of Shaftesbury's 
nurse, gave him strength for what proved a very up- 
hill fight. Mr. Henderson has a reputation for being 
ever ready to extend a helping hand to the struggling 
artist or author, and Mr. Donnison found his own 
experience no exception to the rule. 

Mr. Donnison's work is almost exclusively humor- 
ous, indeed so much is this the case that the public 
now refuse to take him seriously. Anything like 
sustained work of a solemn nature he declares to be 
pain and grief to him — almost as painful in fact as the 
operation he is now undergoing at my hands. When 
in some of his gayest moods, however, he has attempted 




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Sketches of its Men, Manners, and Customs. 

By GEORGE WALKER. 

With Portraits and Illustrations. 



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M3 



a little serious work, an example of which recently 
appeared in one of the shilling magazines. The 
picture was allegorical and decorative, and represented 
a nice, cheery subject — a female figure seated amidst 
icebergs moodily waiting for more victims to the 
North Pole mania. Naturally enough those who had 
previously known Mr. Donnison in his sadder vein set 
about to discover the joke, the result being a protest 
from a casual reader calling the artist's attention to 
the circumstance that the figure in question had her 
feet on the wrong legs ! As a matter of fact both the 
feet and the legs were all right, but doubtless the 
critic could not forget that Mr. Donnison was usually 
" a funny man," and was attempting to be so in this 
instance — therefore it behoved him to encourage the 
artist by letting the latter see that he, the said critic, 
at least was no Scotsman who could not see a joke, 
but thoroughly understood and appreciated this witty 
conception ! " Personally," said Mr. Donnison, when 
I asked him how it felt to be a salaried wit ; "Person- 
ally I am a poor melancholy dog — a veritable Jack 
Point among jesters. Any success I may have had,'' 
he continued modestly, " has been hatched in a hot- 
bed of misery, and the sight of T. E. D. working out 
an excruciating joke is one which would bring tears to 
the eyes of the most hardened." 

" Tears of laughter when they read it," I insinuated 
cunningly, but it is easier to put salt on a bird's tail or 
for the traditional camel to pass through the eye 
of the historical needle than to catch Mr. Don- 
nison by any such delicate compliment, and 
my only reply was a request that I would be good 
enough to tighten the thumb-screw and not play with 
the mouse in the traditional cat-like manner. 

A year or so ago Mr. Donnison had a share in the 
publication of a little volume of pictures illustrative of 
Nansen's memorable expedition. Though he tells me 
that he is not particularly proud of the production, 
there can, perhaps, be no harm in saying that the book 
is by no means uninteresting. Though it is primarily 
intended as a contribution to the youngsters' book- 
shelf — and it is just the thing for an imaginative boy 
who can make a sledge of a drawing room chair and a 
silk tent out of Mamma's mantle — it is also one into 
which the elders will likewise not be above looking, 
for its authors have succeeded in presenting, so far as 
an ordinary individual whose explorations have hitherto 
been confined to the more restricted area of the four 
mile radius, and who has got no nearer the Pole than 
Newmachar, can presume to pass an opinion — a very 



accurate picture of the things we see and the people 
we meet when we go to the Arctic for the summer. 

As an artist Mr. Donnison takes a high place, and 
as a humorist he is no less successful. In the 
"prehistoric" vein he compares favourably with 
Mr. E. T. Reed of Punch, and if he does not 
possess quite the same versatility, he more than 
makes up for it in the happy nature of his conceits. 
But Mr. Donnison is not only an artist with a past — ■ 
he is an artist with a future as well. He has done good 
work, but he will do still better, for he is endowed 
with no mean artistic skill, a fertile fancy, an inalien- 
able love of his profession, and above all, pluck and 
perseverance that are almost Scotch in their grim 
determination ; while he is, moreover, one of the 
kindest and most genial of men. With such qualifica- 
tions he cannot fail to attain an even greater measure 
of success than has yet fallen to his lot, and it is not 
necessary to assume the prophetic mantle to enable 
even the merest tyro in the art of casting horoscopes to 
foretell for Mr. Donnison a very high — and a very well- 
earned — place among his contemporaries in black 
and white. J. G. R. 



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April, ii 



Price One Penny. 




MORE ABERDEEN WORTHIES. 

No. III. 

VEN at the risk of being 
promptly dubbed ego- 
tistical I firmly believe 
I was born for the ex- 
press purpose of enter- 
ing public life at an early 
age ! Be that as it may, 
however, I have a dis- 
tinct recollection of 
placing my services freely at the disposal of 
the custodians of my native city when I was 
little more than eight years of age. On the 
occasion in question, and in conjunction with 
about a dozen others of my embryo "fellow- 
citizens," I assisted to take the " tired " body 
of " Double Hatter," reclining more or less 
gracefully inside the " New Times," from the 
top of Jack's Brae to Superintendent Duthie's 
Government Hostelry, otherwise the Police- 
Office. " Double Hatter " was an itinerant 
street organist of whose antecedents I have 
not been able to glean any information. I 
am inclined to the opinion that he was of 
foreign extraction and Italian at that. From 
the fact that soap and water were his sworn 
enemies, and that his matted, unkempt hair 
and untrimmed beard had never been under 
the care of a knight of the scissors and 
razor, I conclude that sunny Italy would have 
claimed him for her own. He was a gro- 
tesque creature. Somewhat under average 
height, "Double Hatter" was slightly hump- 



backed and a trifle bow-legged. He was 
usually dressed in loose-fitting trousers, a 
long corduroy vest that had once been yellow 
in colour, and a dark brown velveteen coat. 
His headgear, which consisted of two silk 
hats one placed inside the other, was the 
chief characteristic of his attire. From this 
the appellation " Double Hatter " had no 
doubt been derived. His almost constant 
companion was a monkey of a more than 
usually vixenish type. Indeed it was politic 
to give this particular " link " a wide berth, 
for woe betide the boy who was unfortunate 
enough to get into its clutches. It could 
scratch and bite in a way that would have 
brought blushes to the face of the most 
depraved and vicious woman who ever 
lived ! The monkey was extremely fond of 
nuts, and sweets in the form of " candy 
books," and by way of variety the youths of 
the time were wont to vary their contributions 
by an occasional glass "pitcher," or an 
ordinary clay " bool " The fun began of 
course when his monkeyship put any of 
these in his mouth and found them "hard 
nuts to crack." "Double Hatter's" organ was 
of diminutive size, and, by the time I was 
first introduced to its owner, was very 
asthmatic. Its bronchial tubes were sadly 
out of order. As the day advanced the 
"performer" became perceptibly "fatigued" 
with his labours, and the aroma proceeding 
from his mouth was redolent of whisky and 
cloves. Towards early evening, in the 
summer time more especially, he generally 
collapsed, and had to be more or less gently 
"assisted" from the street into the roomy 



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vehicle with the two-leaved door or lid 
already referred to as the " New Times," 
and rolled to his frequent nightly shelter. 
This mode of conveyance to the police cells 
for drunks is now a thing of the past, and 
when a poor inebriate is so helpless as to be 
unable to work his legs and feet, an ordinary 
" hurley " is generally requisitioned for the 
nonce from some kind-hearted shopkeeper. 

The " force " in those days was, so to 
speak, divided into two classes or sections — 
the day policeman and the night watchman. 
Now, they are all police constables, relegated 
to day or night duty, as the case may be. 
Then, the older men were told off to night 
duty, now, the recruits, as a rule, begin with 
that work. There was no age limit, and, 
once a member of the force, meant a 
sinecure till the man died of old age. 
Helmets were not known. The head-gear 
consisted of a tall, glazed " stove-pipe " hat, 
hence the cognomen- " tarry hat," I presume. 
How many of the present generation of 
children know the origin of the appellation 
still in use, I wonder ? The cut of the 
police clothing was not as the song has it :— ~ 

" Quite in the Regent Street style." 

Indeed, on looking back I am not surprised 
at the slowness of the movements of the 
average policeman compared with the supple 
freedom of the guardians of the public peace 
of to-day. Their uniform then was so heavy 
and cumbersome, and the coats — for tunics 
were not then in vogue — more especially were 
so long as to entirely preclude any freedom of 
motion on the part of either legs or feet. 
In winter the great-coats worn reached down 
to the calf of the leg. There were no leggings, 
but short, stiff, tarpaulin-cloth "tippets" 
were worn round the shoulders of the men in 
rainy weather. The cape covered the 
shoulders and nothing more. Worsted 
mittens were provided in cold weather, but 
white gloves were undreamt of. The watch- 
men, in addition to " calling the hours " 
during the night and early morning, had also 
to put out the street lamps on their beats. 
For this un-police-like duty, each man was 
provided with a crook-headed oak staff, an 
iron " cleek " being fastened into the head. 



With this primitive "implement" the gas 
was screwed out in the public thoroughfares. 
Apropos of the bobby's tippet, I have 
vivid recollection of a more than ordinarily 
interesting incident thereanent, in which I 
played a not unimportant part. On the 
Skene Street beat was a day policeman whose 
sobriquet was " Candyletty." I have spelt 
the name phonetically, because I don't know 
how else to do it. At the entrance to 
Garden-nook-close, just beside where the 
Spa Well used to be, before it was built into 
the back wall of the Royal Infirmary, was a 
small building, consisting of a little shoppie, 
kept by an old body named "Rosie." Her 
stock-in-trade consisted chiefly of sweets of 
various kinds, plum-duff, " chasers," and 
other edibles. There was an outer as well as 
an inner door to Rosie's establishment, and 
a peg fastened on the back of the former was 
made to do duty as a pin on which to hang the 
bobby's tippet. For some reason or other 
Candyletty was not a favourite with the young 
and rising generation of the period, and so 
it came about that a plot was hatched in- 
volving the loss, by accident, of course (!) of 
his cape. There were some half-a-dozen 
conspirators in the diabolical scheme, your 
humble servant being one of the sextett. 
The Denburn was in spate at the moment, 
so after purloining the tippet I was deputed 
to drop it into the water at Collie's Brig. 
This I had barely succeeded in doing 
successfully when a hue and cry was raised — 
" Here's Candyletty." Sure enough the 
information was correct, for " Candy " was to 
be seen coming puffing down Skene Street 
as fast as his thirteen or fourteen stone weight 
would permit of him doing so. We took to 
our heels down the burnside in the direction 
of the Mutton Brae with the bobby in full 
pursuit. Just underneath Union Bridge at 
that time was a grating at the mouth of the 
burn's culvert, through which two of us 
crawled and got perched each on a stone 
standing up clear out of the water. Mr. 
Candyletty stood watch and ward over the 
entrance for the whole forenoon, and 
threatened, stormed, and entreated us to come 
out, but it was of no avail. There we 
remained until he went off. I got twice 



4S 



Brown's Book-Stall. 



punished for that little escapade — at school 
in the afternoon, and at home at night. 
I do not know that ever Candyletty knew 
which of us was the " death " of his cape, 
but he afterwards looked upon me with con- 
siderable suspicion when any boyish tricks 
were perpetrated about the corner. 

I fear the discipline of the force was not 
so strict in those days as it is now. The 
watchmen, at anyrate, were not "above" 
taking a dram in a friend's house, even when 
on duty ; and, as inspectors were an unknown 
quantity, and sergeants' visits, like of those 
of angels, " few and far between," a good 
deal of time "had to be" killed during the 
long and weary hours of the watchmen's 
vigils. Small wonder, then, if many a stair 
and lobby of the tenement houses in 
Aberdeen could then a tale unfold of 
" weary eyelids closed in slumber " in the 
silent watches of the night ! ^But those 
were happy times, when " burgling " rarely 
startled the peaceful dwellers of Bon-Accord, 
and shebeens flourished ! 



The writer begs to thank W. W. for the anecdote 
referring to " Louisville." 

Frank Clements. 



STRAIGHT TIPS. 

HOSE who like the Historical Novel with 
gW plenty of gallants with rapiers and ruffles, 
=g^Y and belles in brocade ought to read Anthony 
Hope's new novel, "Simon Dale." This is 
Anthony's first real historical novel. Hitherto he has 
been in the habit of manufacturing his history as well 
as his story, and indeed some of the passages in the 
history of Zenda were of a very engrossing nature. 
On the present occasion, however, he takes us to the 
Court of Charles II., where we meet many gay 
characters, and are, as Mr. Samuel Pepys would say, 
" mightily entertained." One thing one always 
expects to find in a novel by Anthony Hope is smart 
dialogue and in this case the reader will not be 
disappointed. Moral — the cash price is 4/6 at Brown's 
Book-Stall. 

Amongst the other books which are going at 
present and are worth reading, Zola's " Paris " holds a 
good place. It has certainly had a good advertisement, 



for which M. Zola has paid a good price. Conan 
Doyle is also to the front with the ' ' Tragedy of the 
Korosko." 

BIBLES seem to be in great demand just now. 
Whether because the world is growing better, or 
because it is growing worse, we know not. It may 
be, of course, simply owing to the fact that we are 
showing a very nice and varied stock of them, and 
also of Prayer Books, both with and without Hymns. 
Our Scotch Prayer Book, which we always keep 
in a variety of styles, is one for which there is a good 
and regular demand. 

This reminds us that we have a number of Prayer 
Books with the old edition of the Hymns A. & M., 
mostly good editions and well bound. But as the 
Hymns are not the latest edition, we are prepared to 
clear them out at a nominal price. This is an 
opportunity for getting cheap and good books for 
missions, &C. 

OF 

The flowers that bloom in the spring are going to 
be early this year, thanks to the mild season, and we 
have provided for their arrival by laying in a stock of 
pretty vases. One special line we have at io|d. a 
pair, which is worth looking at. Another beautiful 
vase we have at 1/- each, which is a thing of beauty 
and a joy forever, whether you have flowers to put in 
it or not. These lines won't describe, you've got to 
see them. 

George Newnes, the versatile, has broken out in a 
fresh place. Impressed with the fact that truth is 
stranger than fiction, he has started the Wide World 
Magazine. He says there will be no fiction in the 
magazine, but it will contain true stories of weird 
adventure, more thrilling than any conceived by the 
novelist in his wildest flights. A big order this you 
will say, but the purveyor of Tit- Bits has filled big 
orders before now. The first number looks well, 
and we anticipate a treat in the perusal. 
OF 

" Boswell," said Dr. Johnson, meeting the bio- 
grapher in the street, " I have been reading some of 
your manuscripts. There is a great deal about your- 
self in them. They seem to me to be Youmoirs 
rather than Memoirs." 

" What's that book you're reading, papa?'' " 'The 
Last Days of Pompeii,' my pet." ''What did he 
die of, papa?" " An eruption, my dear." 




A Lancer Scout bringing in information from the front. 

Specially drawn by Mr. Harry Payne for "Brown's Book- Stall" 



Brown's Book-Stall. 



•5' 




No. 8.-MR. HARRY PAYNE. 



Anna virumqne cano — by kind permission, of 
course, of the poet of Mantua (and Mr George Ber- 
nard Shaw) who have hitherto had a monopoly in 
this particular form of canticle ; the gentleman who 
forms the subject of my very prosaic minstrelsy being 
Mr Harry Payne and no other. "Be a hero in the 
strife " says the American David and should this 
doubtless excellent advice be followed, it is probable 
that, if you are not killed in the effort, you will be 
commemorated on canvas by Mr Payne, the artist 
who graces our pillory this month, and one of whose 
many claims to the distinction lies in the fact that he 
has perpetuated in paint the memory of nearly every 
battle of importance since the prehistoric days when 
those mighty women, the Shield Maidens, 

Wrought on the field of hattle their toil, and hurled the 
thrilling javelins, 

down to the latest "little affair" at Dargai. Nor 
has the effort exhausted him, for he will be found by 
those visiting his handsome studio down Catford way 
to be as enthusiastic as ever in picturing the deeds 
of Tommy Atkins at home and abroad, on foot or on 
horse, in barracks, in camp, or in desert, or in those 
slack times when " graceful concessions " are fashion- 
able, and 

. . . the war drum throbs no longer, and the battle 
flag is furl'd, 

sighing, like Alexander of old, for new worlds to 
conquer. 

When I had once disabused my mind of the idea 
that I had missed my way and strayed into an annexe 
of Woolwich Arsenal, where all the cast-off helmets 
and spears and things used since the days of Tiberius 
are stored, Mr Payne's studio proved to be a de- 
lightful snuggery in which to ply the inquisi- 
torial pen ; while its owner is one of the most genial 
and courteous of hosts, But it is not in the studio 



alone that the military element predominates. In 
every corner of the house weapons of war are to be 
found ; here it is a lance with pennon floating, sur- 
mounted by a lancer's shako, there trophies of Zulu 
spears, cutlasses, swords, and arms of every descrip- 
tion. Then you come across many interesting relics — 
a Waterloo sword, a Crimean helmet, a coatee worn 
by the 6oth Rifles, a Waterloo water-bottle (one of 
the first ever used in the service), and so on ; while 
one portion of the sanctum sanctorum is occupied by 
a case filled with specimens of the head-dresses of the 
British Army from the clays of Waterloo to those of 
Abu-Klea, the value of which in securing historical 
accuracy in the painting of military pictures can readily 
be appreciated, even by those whose knowledge of 
military matters is limited to that obtainable from 
the stirring pages of the Free Press. 

As to the Coming of Mr Payne and his early career, 
History deponeth not. In that safe spirit of pro- 
phecy, however, of which an ideal illustration is found 
in the morning papers when "forecasting" the 
Queen's Speech, it may not unreasonably be assumed 
that he was born in due course and suffered under one 
or more schoolmasters. His pet aversion was arith- 
metic, and to this day he confesses that a column of 
figures has greater terrors for him than the drawing 
of a column of cavalry on the march — a bit of work 
which cannot be recommended to impatient people. 
As a boy he was put to business in the City, but 
here again his disinclination to add up correctly 
proved a stumbling-block to further fame. In short, 
the artistic temperament which runs in the family 
was not to be denied. Speaking of the family love 
for Art reminds me that our victim's brother, Mr. 
Arthur Payne, is an artist of exceptional ability. 
The latter, however, fills a different sphere of 
usefulness, and, doubtless by the same un- 



152 



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ABERDEEN AWA 

Sketches of its Men, Manners, and Customs. 

By GEORGE WALKER. 

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'53 



reasoning Law of Contrast which induces the 
little man to marry the tall woman, turns, meta- 
phorically speaking, Harry's swords into plough- 
shares and his batteries of artillery into Cathedrals, 
by devoting his attention to architectural work 
generally. While speaking of his brother, Mr Payne 
modestly referred to his own work as being confined 
merely to figures and animals, but I glanced round 
his studio as he spoke, and thereafter gently rebuked 
him. Forsaking, then, the gentle arts of peace for 
those of war, Mr Payne, while still a youth, got into 
a place where his artistic abilities found an outlet in 
the sketching of badges for the British Army. Then 
came the turning point of his career that made him a 
painter. If it had less of the romantic in its attendant 
circumstances than was the case with Wilberforce, 
who, if we are to believe the historian, became a 
philanthropist at the suggestion of a brother of his 
aunt, who gave him a present of a considerable sum 
of money, and an equal amount of good advice to the 
effect that part of it — the money, of course — should be 
passed on to the poor ; or even as in the case of 
Franklin, whose first view of the sea, according to the 
same veritable authority, made him a navigator, it 
had equally practical results. While still labouring 
at his badges, he got his first commission for a paint- 
ing, "Changing Guard at the Horse Guards," and 
from that day, now more than twenty years ago, to 
this, he has been busily employed painting military 
pictures. 

Unlike most of the better known painters of similar 
and other subjects, Mr Payne finds no time for the 
adornment of exhibitions or dealers' windows, his 
work being executed invariably for private customers. 
His pictures are great favourites with the Royal 
Family, several having been sold to H.R. H. the 
Prince of Wales ; one was bought by the charming 
Princess his wife to be sent as a present to the Court 
of Denmark ; while more than one has been secured 
by no less august a purchaser than Our Lady of 
Balmoral herself. During the '87 Jubilee — one can 
now recall these events in a tranquil spirit — a number 
of actors and actresses presented Her Majesty with 
an Album containing their portraits and signatures, 
and Mr Payne and his brother were commissioned to 
illustrate the pages with small sketches, a very hand- 
some present, due in no slight measure to the artists' 
happy conception of the nature of their task, being 
the result. Nor does the Royal record end here, 
H.R.H. the Duke of Connaught, whose military 



genius is well known, having purchased through a 
dealer, who gave Mr Payne the commission, several 
of his stirring war episodes ; while of persons not of 
the Blood, Mr Payne numbers among his clientele a 
countless array of celebrities, the military element 
naturally predominating. While speaking of his 
military patrons Mr Payne told me a rather amusing 
story of the exacting despotism of some of these 
gentlemen as regards matters of detail as opposed to 




MR. HARRY PAYNE. 

pictorial effect. Some years ago a regiment of 
Dragoons was ordered to South Africa, and he was 
commissioned by one of the officers to paint some 
sketches of the men. In one of these the position of 
the figure produced a small fold in the chest of the 
tunic, which hid the button. 

"Would you believe it," said Mr Payne, "that 
picture was sent back to me to take the fold out, and 
to give it the usual upright military appearance !" 



54 



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i55 




THE TROOP LEADER PLACING HIS VEDETTES ON THE MORNING OF THE BATTLE. 

DETTINGEN, JUNE l6TH, I743-" 

From a Drawing by Mr. Harry Payne, reproduced by kind permission of the Proprietors of 
TJie Navy and A rmy Illustrated. 



Though primarily a painter, Mr Payne is also a 
justly celebrated black and white artist, and as such is 
entitled to an honoured position in this series. 
Indeed, of late years he has devoted more and more 
time to this particular class of work. Perhaps his 
most noteworthy achievement ' with brush and pen ' 
was the drawings executed by him for a magnificent 
edition-de-luxe " On Service," published at a guinea 
by Messrs Raphael Tuck & Sons, the famous 
firm of fine art printers and publishers. A copy of 



this work was sent to the Queen, who was so pleased 
with it that she wrote for several others. A copy was 
also sent to me, and as I have no wish to plagiarise 
the methods of Royalty, I content myself by remark- 
ing that it is a really superb publication. Some of 
Mr Payne's pictures are such as would stir the blood 
of the most unimaginative of men — an Aberdeen 
policeman for choice. Among such are his representa- 
tions of the gallant 93rd at Balaclava, when Colin 
Campbell wouldn't even alter the formation of the 



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*57 



" thin red line " to receive the Russian cavalry ; 
of the Charge of the Heavy Brigade when the 
Inniskillings and Scots Greys rode shoulder to shoulder 
as they had last done at Waterloo, and with like 
disastrous results on the enemy ; and of that ill-fated 
rush of the gallant Cardigan and his Six Hundred 
into the Valley of Death — deeds of which, in these 
days when Bismarck's theory of the Pomeranian 
Grenadier is carried to its utmost limit by our crisis- 
dispelling Foreign Minister, we read with a great 
wonder that such things could have been. Of a verity a 
book " to have and to hold." 

Some time ago Mr Payne designed a series of 
Victoria Cross incidents, which proved very popular. 
He also illustrated a number of articles on the same 
subject for that best of all magazines, the Strand, 
while his thrilling pictures in the Graphic, which, 
as all men know, occupies an equally high 
position among the illustrated weeklies, are as well 
known as they are deservedly popular. As illustra- 
trative of the high pressure at which an artist on an 
enterprising publication like the Graphic must work, 
I may mention that one of the drawings of last year's 
Jubilee procession, executed by him for the special 
issue published on that occasion, came into being, like 
Jonah's gourd, in a night. He did not get home until 
late in the evening, after spending about eight hours 
in the saddle (having been one of the few chosen to 
represent his regiment), and had to start the sketch at 
once, and stick to it until it was finished on the 
following afternoon. To that excellent publication, 
The Navy and A my Illustrated, issued by Messrs. 
George Newnes, he has also contributed some capital 
black and white work — notably his illustrations to 
the special " Inniskilling Dragoons" and "Scots 
Greys " issues. To the Manager of this publication, 
who not only gave permission to produce one of the 
drawings in question, but also supplied a specially made 
electro for the purpose, our best thanks are due for the 
illustration "The Troop Leader placing his Vedettes on 
the Morning of the Battle, Dettingen, June 16th, 1743," 
in which Mr. Payne gives an interesting picture of the 
famous Royal Scots Greys in the high pointed 
Grenadier caps which they then wore. Incidentally, 
I may add, that a most interesting account of the 
gallant regiment from the time of its formation by the 
second Charles in 1678 down to its serving with the 
Camel Corps in Egypt, a period of over 200 years, 
during which it has scarcely suffered defeat, and only 
once, at Val — lost a standard — is given by Mr. G. 



F. Bacon in the particular issue of The Navy and 
Army Illustrated, from which our illustration is 
reproduced. One quotation from Mr. Bacon's 
article I cannot refrain from making — the thrilling 
description which he gives of the Greys and the 
Highlanders at Waterloo : — 

Following up their unprecedented success, the Greys went 
on, charging everything they came across : lancers, 
cuirrassiers, artillery— little they cared — until they actually 
penetrated to the very rear of the French position. Their 
glorious valour cost them dear, and it was only by hard, 
desperate righting that they regained the British lines and 
resumed their post only just in time to give their mighty 
support to their gallant comrades of the 92nd Highlanders. 
This reckless handful — for there were barely two hundred of 
the 92nd left — charged a column of French about two thousand 
strong. With the odds of ten to one against them, these brave 
fellows never hesitated for a moment. They pierced right into 
the centre of the French, and when the Greys charged up, the 
Highlanders broke ranks, and clinging to the horsemen's 
stirrup leathers, went surging into the mass to the wild skirling 
of the pipes and the yells of "Scotland for ever!" Infantry 
and cavalry together destroyed or captured nearly every single 
man of the opposing force. 

Small wonder is it that Napoleon, who was greatly im- 
pressed by the excellent manoeuvring and swordmanship of the 
Greys exclaimed : 

" Ces terribles chevaux gris ! Co>n»ie its travaillent ! " 

Better evidence of Mr. Payne's skill as a black and 
white artist than can be conveyed by the written 
word, however, will be found in the stirring 
piece of brush work "A Lancer Scout bringing in 
information from the Front," which forms our supple- 
ment this month, and which Mr Payne, with 
characteristic kindness, did specially for the Book- 
Stall. While on the subject of our illustrations I 
may add that the portrait of Mr Payne in his open- 
air studio — a charmingly-shaded garden in which he 
loves to paint in summer time — was taken about a 
couple of years ago, quite unknown to the artist, by a 
friend who "snapped" the husband while talking to 
Mrs Payne. The canvas on which Mr Payne is 
engaged is an oil painting of the " Battle of Villiers- 
en-Couche, 1794." 

Among heroes Mr Payne has a select and extensive 
acquaintance, having drawn a number of pictures 
illustrative of many of the most recent gallant deeds 
which have won for their doers the highly-coveted 
Bronze Cross with the simple inscription, "For 
Valour." Some of these were for a volume " Heroes 
of Our Day," published about four years ago, and 
which met with great success. But the ordeal of 
sitting as a painter's model is some times a more trying 



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Buy the following, which will save money and afford the 
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'59 



experience for these hardy campaigners than the 
taking of the Chagru Kotal heights or any similar 
deed of derring-do. As an instance of how severe is 
the strain on an artist's model, Mr Payne told me 
that on one occasion he had as a model a man who 
had been in the 7th Hussars and the Cape Mounted 
Rifles. He was invalided home through being stabbed 
in the foot in a charge in Basutoland. He was a fine 
strapping fellow, and in reply to Mr Payne's inquiry 
as to whether he was likely to faint, answered, " I 
don't think so, though I have been knocked nearly 
silly by a knob-kerry." 

" Well," continued Mr Payne, " he hadn't been up 
long when, sure enough, he turned deadly pale, and I 
had to take him out in the air and give him water." 

The circumstance that Mr Payne is himself an 
active member of a Yeomanry regiment is naturally of 
assistance to him in the technical part of his work. 
But to be a successful military painter such as he is, 
a tremendous amount of special knowledge is required. 
No picture is so liable to criticism — both by those 
who know and those who don't — as that which 
depicts a military event ; and the artist must not only 
be thoroughly versed in the details of all the different 
and ever-changing uniforms of the service, but be 
acquainted with the drill of all arms — cavalry, in- 
fantry, and artillery, as well as with the minutest 
particulars regarding arms and accoutrements. In 
these matters Mr Payne's knowledge is encyclopaedic, 
and this, combined with his splendid draughtsman- 
ship and fine appreciation of colour, places him in the 
first rank of military painters of the day, and though, 
from the fact that he is a busy man and one not given 
to self-advertisement, his name may not be so familiar 
to the man in the street as that of some others, his 
work is none the less brilliant or worthy of the highest 
praise. As a worker he is indefatigable, and, im- 
mersed in his Art, the conventional allocation of Time 
into so many hours for work and so many for sleep is 
hardly recognised by him. In penning the character- 
istic V Envoi X.o " The Seven Seas," Mr Kipling must 
surely have had Mr Payne in his mind's eye when he 
wrote : — 

And those that were good shall be happy : they shall sit in a 

golden chair ; 
They shall splash at a ten-league canvas with brushes of 

comets' hair ; 
They shall find real saints to draw from — Magdalene, Peter, 

and Paul ; 
They shall work for an age at a sitting, and never be tired at all ! 

J. G. R. 



OUR MODESTY, 

Which is proverbial, induces us to cull the following 
gem from Ally Sloped s Half- Holiday of March 
19th :— 

THE "F.O.S." PORTRAIT GALLERY. 




No. 525.— Mr. E. Townsrnd Smith, F.O.S. 

" It is with the utmost pleasure that A. Sloper adds 
the accompanying portrait to his collection. As an 
eminent litterateur himself, the Ancient naturally 
takes a warm interest in his fellow scribes, particularly 
those who, like our hero, show bright promise of 
ultimate greatness. E. T. S., who is widely known 
to fame throughout the land o' cakes, is the able 
editor of Browrfs Book-Stall, a clever literary and 
artistic supplement to Scottish Notes and Queries, of 
which he is also the proprietor. Chiefly because 
Ally thinks highly of him, he was created F.O.S. 
and the ' Sloper Award of Merit ' presented to him 
January 15th, 1898." Debrett Improved. 



" Many a father prevents his small boys from 

acquiring valuable information." "How?" "By 

having a rule that they musn't touch his books 
without washing their hands," 



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CHEER UP. 

dull season is slowly ebbing 
away, and with the approach 
of summer business shows 
signs of reviving vitality. 
One of the symptoms is the 
demand for Bags— Travelling 
Bags. This shows that man- 
kind is waking up from its 
winter hybernation and is 
thinking of week-ends in the 
country. And looking still 
further ahead, it begins to 
make plans for its summer 
holiday. To meet this demand we have laid 
in a large stock of bags of all sorts, which we 
are confident are the best value ever offered 
in Aberdeen. But don't take our word for 
it ; come and see for yourself. 

OF 

There are several quite new patterns, 
both in Week-end Bags and also in the larger 
styles. One special bag we have, of solid 
leather without any lining, will hold as much 
as a Gladstone and is only half the weight. 
OF 

We are offering special bargains in Dress 
Baskets for ladies — not only because we 
like to give special advantage to the ladies, 
but also because we are going to give up 
stocking Dress Baskets and Trunks. We 
find they are too bulky for us to stock, and 
they take up the room which we require for 
our larger stock of Gladstones, Kits, Briefs, 
and Week-ends. 



We have just got a new book, or rather a 
new edition of a book, by Seton Merriman, 
the author of " The Sowers," which is going 
very well — " Young Mistley," cash 4s. 6d. 
There is also another, " Her Wild Oats," by 
John Bickerdyke, which will repay perusal. 

It is really marvellous what is being done 
in the way of cheap reprints now-a-days. 
We don't refer to the cheap books usually 
sold by the drapers. And speaking of them 
reminds us of a story of a bookseller in 
Newcastle who was tempted to lay in a stock 
of a series of books which were being sold 
by a draper next door. On examining his 
purchase he found how badly they were got 
up, and his professional soul revolted at 
palming them on an unsuspecting public as 
good booksellers' books. However, he had 
to get rid of them, so he put them into his 
window ticketed thus : — " Badly printed 

ON BAD PAPER AND MISERABLY BOUND, BUT 
CHEAP." 

But the reprints we refer to are the re- 
verse of this. The special instance of cheap 
and good to which we would direct your 
attention this month is the new edition of 
Shakespeare, published by Bliss, Sands & Co. 
It is similar in size and style to the well- 
known Temple Shakespeare, clearly printed 
on good paper and neatly bound in red 
cloth. Each volume contains one play, and 
the whole will be completed in 40 volumes 
at the very low price of Sixpence each. It 
will be the best pocket Shakespeare in the 
market at the price. If you are passing 
Brown's Book-stall drop in and see it. 



162 



Brown's Book-Stall. 



LOST OR MISLAID, STOLEN OR 
STRAYED. 

Some time ago there was sold by auction 
in Aberdeen the library of a deceased 
gentleman. Amongst the books was a set of 
" Pitaval's Causes Celebres et Interessantes," 
published in Amsterdam, in 1775. It was a 
very nice set, in old calf, gilt back, and in 
very good condition, but it had one grave 
defect, volume 13 was amissing. Now the 
chances are that the missing volume had 
been borrowed by some friend of the gentle- 
man's in the neighbourhood, and may be 
reposing on his shelves unto this day ; or 
perchance it may have made a tour of the 
second-hand bookshops. In either case we 
shall be glad to hear of its whereabouts. 



IN MEMORIAM. 



He came with a poem, and dire intent, 

And up the sanctum stairs he went ; 

Hope and a smile on his face were blended, 



ascend- 



which 



the 



this 



He bearded the editor in his lair, 

And began a-reading his poem fair ; 

But the editor stopped him before he had ended, 



*nc! 



thi 



'hr 



} *nn 



er 



'n 



*tich 



<h: 



'***(/, 



'-'/. 



A LONDON SCOT. 

Our aim is to be original, but we are not above stealing 
from our contemporaries if we see anything good. On 
this occasion we have annexed from the Half-Holiday 
of our old friend, Ally Sloper, the portrait of our 
esteemed contributor Mr. J. Grant Reid, who is rapidly 
becoming well known in literary and artistic circles in 
London. He is, as all good men and true ought to be, 
a constant reader of Scottish Notes and Queries, and 
has apparently been caught in the act. 

THE "F.O.S." PORTRAIT GALLERY. 




No. 522.— Mr. J. Grant Reid, F.O.S. 
" As quite a kidlet our hero showed that love of 
art and literature which has since won him a famous 
place among its critics. It is true his tastes at that 
early age were of a not very exalted standard, his 
greatest delight being in ' Ruthless Richard,' the 
' Pirate of the Pacific,' fearsomely illustrated with 
sketches of that buccaneer's gory career. But as the 
years went on he gradually acquired more cultured 
ideas, and is to-day one of the most charming and 
scholarly writers, as a perusal of Browris Book-Stall 
will speedily reveal. Chiefly because he knows all 
about ■ black-and-white'' he was created F.O.S., and 
the ' Sloper Award of Merit ' presented to him 
December nth, 1897." — Debrett Improved, 



Brown's Book-Stall. 



163 



THE COBBLER, 



CRIPPLE old Cobbler pegging a shoe 
Sat by his door in the village street ; 

In his apron of leather with plenty to do, 
Pegging of shoes for the villagers' feet. 

A greasy old Cobbler matted and grey, 
A Cobbler all sticky with rosin and paste, 

Smiling and humming and pegging away, 
Loitering never, and never in haste. 

Rumbling o'er levels and jolting in ruts, 

Cumbrous and slow comes the farmer's wain, 

From the Cobbler's window the daylight shuts 
With its toppling burden of straw and grain. 

And the cripple old Cobbler smiles and nods 

To the burly farmer passing bye, 
But little the farmer dreams as he plods 

What the Cobbler claims of his corn and rye. 

The cheery old Cobbler smiles and nods, 

And times with his hammer the song he sings : 

" He harnessed the plough and turned the sod, 
That the grain might grow he wearily brings." 

On the fresh tossed earth came the green spring blade, 

The rising stalk and the drooping ear, 
Then the ripened field and the harvest made, 

Still the farmer trembled in doubt and fear. 

But the green that crept o'er the purple mould, 
And was crowned with gold in the ripened field, 

To the Cobbler's eye was a scroll unrolled 
That the glory and joy of earth revealed. 

With jangling harness and grinding wheels, 
The laird in his carriage all varnish and gold, 

By the door of the artiste in uppers and heels, 
With the bearing supreme of a Codling, rolled. 

But the wise old Cobbler chuckles and sings ; 

He has measured the earth and he knows the stars 
And he laughs at the pride yon lordling brings, 

For the Cobbler is heir to the universe. 

He seeks not the parchments that licence to kill 
The hare in the meadow, the fish in the pool, 

The bird in the forest, the deer on the hill, 
To prey like the brute and joy as a fool. 



But he knows the joy of night in the wood, 

When the swinging beech boughs creak and stir, 
When he hears the plaint of the cushat's brood 
Disturbed by the sway of the sheltering fir. 

And the life that ebbed through the torpid night 
Now flows and freshens with the dawn, 

And the soul is stirred by the growing light 
That gives of its glory to lake and lawn. 

The light that brings to the fields their green, 
And signals the woods for the throstle's song, 

The gleam and shadow gives the stream, 
And the imaged flowers it flows among. 

The pheasant flustered through the boughs, 
With rustle and rush mounts o'er the trees, 

The rabbit from its burrow goes, 
And jinks through the brake to the clover leas. 

The Cobbler sees where the game bird urged 
Its flight, and marks the rabbits' way, 

But love from the Cobbler's soul has purged 
The impulse of the brute to slay. 

For who would, wanton, care to kill 
The child at play on the village street, 

Yet the hare that limps on the barren hill, 
And the worm that twines at the Cobbler's feet 

Are fellow mortals unto him, 

And he knows in the beasts his distant kin, 
And the laughing child and the singing bird 

Have a common soul of joy within. 

So the rustling pheasant safe is gone, 

And the timid rabbit goes its way, 
And the dipping ousel on its stone 

Sings in the stream its dreamy lay. 

And the Cobbler sees and the Cobbler hears 

The beauties love alone revealed, 
But the glory of the universe 

To the callous heart is for ever sealed. 

Deux. 



1 64 Brown's Book-StalI. 




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Assassin (leaving the corse to seek safety inflight)—" And now to fly to some other clime ! 
Spider (leaving the course to partake of a second)—" And now to climb to some other fly ! " 



Specially drawn by Mr. A. Chasemore for "Brown's Book-Stall," 



Brown's Book-Stall. 



67 




j\\ the Sign oj the £rush and pen, 



No. 9.— Mr. A. CHASEMORE. 

H-& 

)HE Great Grammarian Bain has put it on record that there is an 

exception which goes to the proving of every rule. If then, 

we admit the truth of the Ancient Proverb that a Jack-of-all- 

Trades is Master of None, it is comforting to reflect that (Bain 

=i| l being an honourable man), there must inevitably be an exception. 



That exception is the merry wit, alike in picture and 
in print, on whom we hold our customary monthly 
inquisition on the present occasion, Mr. A. 
Chasemore, the genial artist who, paradoxical 
as it may seem, has for many years made the last page 
oijudy undeniably the first — if not in numerical pro- 
gression, at least in merit and general interest. 

" I am a Jack-of-all-Trades," said Mr. Chasemore, 
when I had cautioned him in the customary manner 
that anything he might say might be used in evidence 
against him; "and" he added, with a modesty 
that sat well upon him, " with your keenly critical 
faculty you can doubtless draw the customary 
inference." 

Thereupon I respectfully submitted to his considera- 
tion the loophole of escape which the forethought of 
our friend the Professor had provided as hereinbefore 
referred to. " In these circumstances," I added, " I 
prefer to call you 'a lad o' pairts'," at which he 
seemed pleased. 

Since the days when, as Mr. Gilbert puts it — 

Our gallant Norman foes made our merry land their own, 
And the Saxon from the Conqueror was flying, 

there have been Chasemores either making History or 
picturing it. Even at that remote period they could 



all tell who their great-grandfathers were, while many 
had pedigrees as complicated as "The Traveller's 
Easy-Finding Time Table," but it is not until the 
glorious days of the ever young, virtuous, and good 
Queen Bess that any absolutely reliable account of 
their deeds is obtainable. About that time they 
flourished — to use a word dear to the pen of Magnell 
of "Questions" fame— flourished their stout oak 
walking sticks, and (when it ran to it) their elegant 
hunting crops, in and around Horsham in the Home 
Counties. It was, however, at the old Saxon 
Fullenhame — "the resort of birds" — now more pro- 
saically known as Fulham, the resort of Bishops (for 
at its palace, there, as the Crosby Hall legend has it, 
you will find them) that Mr. Chasemore first saw the 
light of day. To this part of London, then a land 
of green fields, now within the four mile radius, had 
come his grandfather early in the last century, and 
there, somewhere about the year i860, this worthy 
gentleman began to emulate Horatius in the bridge 
keeping business. Which, being interpreted, means 
that he was appointed Manager of the old Fulham 
Bridge, commonly known as Putney Bridge, an 
appointment which, it is interesting to note, remained 
in the family until the Metropolitan bridges were made 



1 68 



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169 



free of toll in 1880. Shortly after the " interesting 
event," that is the Coming of Mr. C, the family 
returned to the ancestral neighbourhood of Horsham 
where Mr. Chasemore pere had rented a farm which, 
to quote the graphic description of his son, was as 
picturesque as it was unprofitable. There Mr. Chase- 
more and his brothers spent impartially their school- 
days and their pocket money, another well-known 
artist, Mr. Dendy Sadler, being, by the way, a 
schoolfellow. But even the romance of a 16th 
century haunted house, which constituted another of 
the attractions of the farm, was not sufficient to tempt 
him to remain, and he returned to London, eventually 
succeeding to the family post of keeper of the Bridge 
which he filled until, like Othello, he found his 
occupation gone. 

It was about this time that he took the first step 
towards following out that profession in which he has 
gained so thoroughly well earned a success. Having 
a taste for drawing, though without any training, 
being then as he is to-day entirely self-taught, he 
decided, with the enterprise of youth, to endeavour to 
increase his income by doing illustrations for one of 
the three comic papers then existing ; additional zest 
being doubtless added to his labours by the circum- 
stance that he had a short time previously taken "a 
pair of sparkling eyes " and "crossed the Rubicon," 
or to put it more prosaically, got married. As a 
preliminary he purchased a few small wood blocks, 
and made initial size drawings on four of them, having 
previously had some practice on a quarter-page block 
which he already possessed, and to which was 
attached the history of his one failure. He had 
bought it a long time before, had drawn something on 
it, and left it for insertion at Fun office. Not seeing 
it appear, he ventured to call and enquire when it 
would. He was seen by Mr. Arnold, the then 
proprietor, who politely returned him what he now 
calls the wretched bit of box, but which he then 
regarded somewhat differently. "I ventured to ask 
him why he did not care to use the drawing," said 
Mr. Chasemore, "and his reply was laconic and to the 
point — it was not good enough. Hence the practice." 
To return, however, to the four blocks which marked 
the advent of the Second Venture. Undaunted by his 
previous rebuff, he took them to Fleet Street, leaving 
two at the shop of some little mushroom paper, even 
the name of which he has now forgotten, and two at 
Punch office in Bouverie Street. Sometime after- 
wards he called on the proprietors of the unknown 



" comic," as holding forth the greater prospect of 
success. But once more, though for the last time, he 
was doomed to disappointment. The gentleman 
behind the somewhat dilapidated counter which served 
as a barrier to protect the sanctum of the Editor from 
too rapid assault by irate contributors, enquired 
whether Mr. Chasemore would engrave the drawings 
as well, but as at this period of his career he had 
never seen an engraved block he felt that he could not 
conscientiously undertake to do so. With his hopes 




MR. A. CHASEMORE. 
From a Drawing by Mr. Alfred Bryan. 

so low that no ordinary thermometer could have 
been equal to the situation, and the blocks in his 
pocket, he thought he might as well bring away their 
companions, deducing without even the aid of the 
ever friendly Euclid or the slightest reference to 
hypothesis or construction that for once in a way the 
less included the greater, and that as he had failed with 
the struggling rag, he was not likely to be successful 
with the famous weekly. But his mourning was 
destined to be turned into joy, for on arriving at 
the office of Punch he met Mr. Harry Lemon who 



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Brown's Book-Stall. 



171 



communicated the interesting intelligence that his 
father, Mark Lemon, the then Editor, had not only 
accepted them, but Oliver-like, had asked for more. 
In due course then, the first of the drawings appeared as 
a tail-piece to the last page of the volume ending 1867. 
Soon afterwards he made his first attempt at a "social '' 
subject. It represented a recruit joining a Volunteer 
Corps, and bore the legend : — 

Adjutant — " What company would you wish to be in?" 
Recruit — " Oh, gentleman's co'pany, of course !" 

In the reproduction, it may be added, the recruit was 
left untouched, but the adjutant was re-drawn by 
Keene. Even at this early period of his career Mr. 
Chasemore exhibited something of that quaint naivete" 
which later found expression in many of his delight- 
ful drawings, for Mr. Spielmann in his excellent 
volume, "The History of Punch" (Cassell & Coy.), 
has placed it on record that when forwarding this 
particular sketch, Mr. Chasemore, with a happy 
combination of delightful modesty and sly humour 
wrote — "I'm afraid there is not much humour in the 
idea ; still I hope it's good enough for Punch ! " 

Up to 1875, Mr. Chasemore contributed in all thirty- 
three drawings to Punch, and in addition there is a 
belated one in 1879 — his last appearance in the pages 
of that paper until quite recently when Mr. F. C. 
Burnand, with a keener appreciation of Mr. Chase- 
more's undoubted cleverness than some of his pre- 
decessors, was good enough to accept some drawings 
from him, amongst them being a series called " Longago 
Legends," for which the letter-press, his own, was 
printed in the mediaeval style. 

Previous to his connection with Punch, however, a 
pen and ink sketch which he had sent to Judy was 
published ; so, finding that after the death of Mark 
Lemon his appearances in the former were few and 
far between, he applied to Mr. C. H. Ross, the then 
Editor of Judy for a post on his staff, was accepted, 
and thereafter justified his selection by proving one of 
the most original and amusing of the many clever 
artists who at one time or another have contributed to 
its pages. 

With the purchase of Judy by Mr. Edward Dalziel, 
Mr. Chasemore's work was, thanks to the kindness of 
the new proprietor, considerably increased, and this 
good fortune was repeated to an even greater extent 
when Mr. Gilbert Dalziel, of whom those who 
have read these pages from the first and still live 
know something, took over the paper from his father. 
But when you mention the name of Mr. Gilbert 



Dalziel, Mr. Chasemore grows enthusiastic. Like all 
the other contributors to that gentleman's publications 
— artists and authors alike — and indeed, as is the case 
with everyone who has had the good fortune to come 
in contact — either personally or through the more 
prosaic medium of the Postmaster General — with the 
genial founder and present proprietor of the always 
entertaining Half-Holiday, Mr. Chasemore speaks in 
terms of the highest praise about Mr. DalziePs never- 
failing kindness. And here I would like to make 
what might be called a personal statement in 
corroboration of this, for almost from the first Mr. 
Dalziel has taken a more than kindly interest in the 
fortunes of the Book-Stall. No trouble has been too 
great for him to under- 
take, and whenever 
assistance has been 
needed, either in the 
wooing of a shy artist 
or otherwise, his help 
has ever been at our 
service. 

Quot homines, tot 
sententiae — so many 
men, so many fancies. 
That of Mr. Chase- 
more is the collecting 
of odds and ends of 
other days. So en- 
thusiastic did he be- 
come in this pursuit 
that when his doctor 
told him that he must 
have more exercise, 
h e started taking walks 

before breakfast, though instead of making his way 
over breezy Putney Heath or Wimbledon Common, 
he generally found himself, if the tide was low, 
searching the muddy shore of the Thames for 
pre-historic flint chips and such like treasures, but 
after a time he was compelled to give it up — having 
already had diphtheria. But when he recalls the 
memories of those by-gone days, spent in the old 
Bridge House overlooking London's waterway, Mr. 
Chasemore becomes in turn dramatic and gruesome. 

" Yes," he said, as in anticipation of some par- 
ticularly blood-curdling memory of dark deeds by the 
muddy river, I pulled out my elegant Reporter's Note- 
book (supplied, of course, by Brown & Co.) — "Yes, 
I have witnessed some strange sights A in the neigh- 




Georgian Tipstave. 

From a drawing by Mr. A. 

Chasemore in "Judy." 



172 



Brown's Book-Stall. 



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>73 



bourhood of the River. Many and many a poor mud- 
smirched, limb-twisted remnant of humanity have I 
seen drawn out of the Thames while I lived in the 
old Bridge House; strange to say generally on a 
Sunday morning. Sometimes at the dead of night, 
too," he continued, as I moved uneasily in my chair 
and looked out at the gathering shadows, "I could 
hear the crunching of footsteps on the rough causeway 
beneath my bedroom window, blended with the 
murmur of voices, and I knew if I looked out I 
should see by the light of a lantern a little group of 
waterside men shuffling along bearing Something on 
a shutter. No, there were no police stretchers in 
those days ; what was used was simply an actual 
shutter taken down from a window of the quaint 
William and Mary Inn, the Old Swan, hard by, and 
on this rude bier the mortal remains of the poor 
suicide or murdered one was borne to the shed of 
honest John Phelps, the waterman, there to await the 
* Crowner's quest.' But revolvers are cheap to-day," 
he added, with something of his old cheerfulness as 
the servant lit up the sanctum and I turned with a 
sigh to the special Blend — yes, it might have been 
Rainnie's — at my side, "so is rat poison, and carbolic 
acid, and such sights are rare enough now-a-days to 
be worthy of the title of a ' Thames Mystery ' — 
mysteries which even now too often remain unsolved. 
I once" (he proceeded) "worked in just such an 
incident in a ghost story I wrote for Judy's Annual — 
we must have something lively at Christmas, you 
know!" 

Mr. Chasemore's work in Punch and in Judy 
represents, however, only one side of a versatile and 
many-sided personality. From the first issue of Mr. 
DalziePs Half- Holiday he has been one of the 
" principal boys " on the staff. Of his fellow-workers, 
as of the genial Chief, he has nothing but the happiest 
recollections, and in particular commented on the very 
clever and humorous work of his colleague, Mr. W. 
F. Thomas. Then he has contributed many pictures 
and some prose and verse to the Boy's Own Paper, to 
the Million (in which appeared his very clever 
" Faltheral Lays," both written and illustrated by 
himself), and to the Pictoi-ial World in Gilbert 
Dalziel's time, while he has also drawn for Fun, the 
Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News, St. Stephen's 
Review, Lady's Pictorial, Sketch, and any number of 
others. Further, he has designed book covers for 
Messrs. Novello & Co., while, thanks to the courtesy 
and kindness of Messrs. Vicars & Poirson, the well- 



known firm of Art Embroiderers of 104 Newgate 
Street, we are able to reproduce at the beginning of 
these notes a very tasteful Venetian "heading' 
prepared by him for them. While acknowledging the 
courtesy of this firm, I have also to express our 
indebtedness to Mr. Gilbert Dalziel for the other 
illustrations (with the exception of "The Assassin 
and the Spider," specially drawn for us by Mr. 
Chasemore), which accompany these Notes. The 
portrait of Mr. Chasemore, from Mr. Alfred Bryan's 
clever pen is, by the way, from the justly famous 
F.O.S. Portrait Gallery. 

In the way of book 
illustration he has 
done work for many 
well-known firms. 
Then, as Mr. Whistler 
slyly remarked of the 
late Lord Leighton, 
" he paints too," 
while for the last six 
years of Mr. John 
Hollingshead's reign 
at the Gaiety he 
designed the costumes 
for the famous produc- 
tions which that era 
in the history of 
burlesque, beginning 
with "Aladdin" and 
ending with " Jack 
Sheppard." In 

"Ariel," one of the 
series, he used nothing but delicate tints in the 
costumes of the fairy crowds — stronger effects 
(and even these he kept down), being supplied 
in the dresses of the principals. The result was 
exceptionally fine, and so impressed the critical 
eye of Lord Leighton that he specially complimented 
Mr. Hollingshead on the happy effect of Mr. Chase- 
more's work. 

In short, Mr. Chasemore is a busy man — so busy in 
fact that rumour says that he works with both hands 
at once. There is more truth in this than might at 
first seem probable, fur he can draw almost equally 
well with either, though his more important work is 
done by the left, but a charming little pencil study in 
my possession which he dashed off ' while you wait ' 
with the right hand, will bear witness, if need be, 
that in his case at all events his right hand has not 




Venetian Gikl. 

From a draiuing. by Mr. A. 

Chasemore, by permission 0/ 

Mr. Gilbert Dalziel. 



174 



Brown's Book-Stall* 



he Point 



to keep in view is that you get the 
best possible value in Stationery and 
Books from A. Brown and Co., 
Union Street, Aberdeen, who 
keep a large and varied stock 
both departments. 



in 



Dortable Book Shelves, 

Which can be easily taken to pieces and 
packed in small compass. 



2/6 



The "Student's" Book Shelf. Polished 
Light Oak Colour. Size, 16 inches 
high by 20 inches long, with 2 Shelves. 



The "Cottage" Book Shelf, with 3 Shelves. 
22 inches by 22 inches. Polished Dark 
Oak Colour. 



5/- 



10/6 



The "College" Book Shelf, witfj 
3 Shelves. 28£ by 25 inche*. 
Polished Dark Oak Colour. 



he "Referek" Book Shelf, with 
4 Shelves. 39 by 30 inches. 
Polished Dark Oak Colour. 



18/6 



A. BROWN & CO., 

83 and 85 Union Street, Aberdeen. 



Jk 



BROWN'S 



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fe£a MAaXft sSSa mi flSa 1I1 c9a «9m ^m «Sm ^a J* J* 
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83 & 85 UNION STREET, 
, ABERDEEN. 



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US 



remained altogether ignorant of what his left was 
doing. Be this as it may, however, if there is any 
truth in the obiter dictum of our old friend Dr. Watts— 
In works of labour, or of skill 

I would be busy too, 
For Satan finds some mischief still 
For idle hands to do- 
Mr. Chasemore's future, at anyrate hereafter, is 
assured, for as Massinger puts it 

He does allot for every exercise 

A several hour: for sloth, the curse of vices, 

And rust of action, is a stranger to him. 

J.G.R. 



I 



ft CLUB VELLUM 

6 



JJOTEJPAPER 

A BROWN &CO 

STATIONERS, 

Union Street, ABERDEEN. 



mmimmmmm 




THE REASON WHY. 

Winter (to Spring) — " Back again ?" 

Spring — "Yes; but / can't help it. You 
and the other two would have a lady clerk of 
the weather, and the other day she bought 
another mantle — a bargain." 



From a drawing by Mr. A. Chasemore in 
27th May, 1891. Vol. 48. 



Judy," 



Make Your Will 

. Forms for making a Will, with 
^ Directions, 3d. each, post free, 3id. 



A. BROWN c^ CO., 

83 & 85 Union St., Aberdeen. 



Railoiay flovels, 

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A Large Stock of New Novels and General 
Literature always on hand. 

DISCOUNT PRICES. 

BROWN'S BOOK-STALL, 

83 & 85 Union St., Aberdeen. 



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GLADSTONE BAGS, 
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may be had from 




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upwards. Best Make with inside Fittings, £6 6s. od. 




Cowhide Kit Hags, from 25/- to 42/ 



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A. Bl^O WH & Co., Stationers & Dealers in fancy Goods, 

33 UNION STREET, ABERDEEN. 




4o. 



UNE, 



Price One Penny. 




IN THE FIFTIES. 

^^ 

^|BOUT the close of 1847, a 
young man residing at the 
Farm of Mastrick, Pitcaple, 
procured a copy of the 
"Phonographic Instructor," 
and began to learn without 
the aid of a teacher. He 
became a very expert writer, and in the 
district taught several classes. J. G. Diack 
was his name, and it frequently occurs in the 
early numbers of the Phonetic Journal. As 
he was not successful in finding suitable 
employment in this country, in the early 
fifties he went to New Zealand to teach 
Phonography, if he could find an opening ; 
if not, he was prepared to apply himself 
to agricultural pursuits. On arriving at 
Dunedin he was not long till he began 
teaching, and was fairly successful ; while 
in the province of Otago he formed classes 
which had the effect of engaging the atten- 
tion of the House of Representatives, 
who passed a resolution that he should be 
retained as instructor of Shorthand in the 
public schools at a salary of ^£300 a year. 
Mr Diack was a painstaking and enthusiastic 
teacher, and overcame many difficulties in the 
prosecution of his work. At the public 
examination of his pupils the newspapers 
gave very full reports of their progress, and 
gave him great credit for their instruction. 
On one occasion a pupil, a girl of eleven 
years of age, received a paper from Mr. 
Diack, written by him in Shorthand, being 



the leading article in the newspaper of 
the day. She had never seen it before, 
but read the whole quite easily, even more 
so than if it had been ordinary print — 
which was a surprise to the audience, 
creditable alike to the accuracy of the writer 
and the reader's knowledge of Phonography. 
He died in 1876 in the 51st year of his age, 
being universally esteemed and respected in 
the land of his adoption. Mr. Diack, how- 
ever, in addition to his Phonographic work in 
New Zealand, has a special claim to recogni- 
tion in connection with Aberdeen, for he had 
the honour of initiating one of our most 
highly appreciated and greatly gifted fellow 
citizens in the study of Phonography, which 
was the means of placing him in a position of 
singular influence in connection with our 
local newspaper press. William Alexander 
lived on the Farm of Damhead, Pitcaple. An 
accident laid him aside from active work, but 
gave him ample opportunity, of which he 
took full advantage, for mental improvement. 
He also acquired considerable skill in sketch- 
ing with pen and pencil, and with returning 
health he was able to send communications 
to the North of Scotland Gazette on various 
subjects, but more especially those connected 
with agriculture and the condition of those 
engaged in agricultural work. The then 
editor, the late Mr. Wm. McCombie, was so 
struck by the writer's practical knowledge and 
the ability which characterised his productions 
that he offered him a situation on the staff of 
the paper. Such an occupation was very 
much to the taste of Mr. Alexander. He 
accepted the offer and came to Aberdeen in 
the autumn of 1852, receiving as a start 6/- 



178 



Brown's Book-Stall. 




G. Mitchell Moir, 

AUSIC SELLER, 

Has a most Choice Selection of ——^ 



American Organs 
and pianos. 



82 Union Street, Aberdeen. 



BALL-POINTED 




FINE. 
MEDIUM. 




D. 



Per Box. 

FOR EASY WRITING. 



Brown's Book-Stall. 



179 



a week. The inducement was not, as regards 
finance, very enticing, but as one who never 
shrank from work, and doing it at all times 
with thoroughness, he was very soon promoted 
to reporting for and sub-editing the paper 
which, on the 6th May, 1853, became the 
Aberdeen Free Press — so that he was officially 
connected with it from its commencement. 

Having, as already stated, begun the study 
of Phonography under Mr. Diack, he now pro- 
ceeded to acquire the art of verbatim 
reporting, and to attain this he was greatly 
assisted by that accomplished Phonographer, 
Mr. Francis Cooper. 

In his copy of the Reporter's Companion, 
published 1st January, 1853, which I now 
have before me, it is interesting to note how 
well and faithfully it has been used, especially 
those pages which are of primary importance 
to the reporter. The reporting Gramma- 
logues, the list of Contracted Words, and the 
Phraseography are well marked by frequent 
references, and even one error of the printer 
is corrected and written as it should have 
been in the phrase — "and as to the." Mr. 
Alexander soon became a very capable 
verbatim reporter, but he was more, and 
what with limited space for reports was of even 
more importance, with great skill he could 
condense a speech, giving its essence and ex- 
pressing in better terms the ideas and thoughts 
which the speaker intended, but somehow 
failed to do. He used to take his reports in 
an unruled and pretty large note book. To 
young reporters he was ever kindly and help- 
ful, and one who occupied the position of 
chief reporter on one of the leading daily 
newspapers in Scotland writes me that in the 
outset of his career, as a youth sitting beside 
him in professional work in Aberdeen, he 
received many hints and most valuable 
practical suggestions, and whose memory he 
should ever revere with the highest respect 
and regard. 

On one occasion Mr. Alexander came to 
the writer in a great dilemma asking if he 
could take an evening meeting for him, the 
report of which he was very anxious to 
obtain. There were then only three pro- 
fessional reporters on the staff of the three 
newspapers in town at that time, and as 



there were several meetings of an important 
character that night it was more than they 
could undertake. I agreed, and attended in 
the Mechanic's Hall where a deputation from 
the Peace Society spoke. The members 
were Mr. Edward Miall, Editor of the Non- 
conformist, and Rev. Henry Richards, the 
Secretary. Both of these gentlemen sub- 
sequently became members of Parliament. 
The report was taken and occupied two 
columns of the paper, at which Mr. Alexander 
expressed himself well pleased. 

On several occasions when the Vowel 
Scale was proposed to be changed, from 
the 9th edition of Phonography to the 10th, 
Mr. Valentine, Mr. Carnie, Mr. Alexander, and 
the writer frequently met to discuss the pro- 
posal experimentally. 

In i860 an attempt was made by a few 
literary friends to establish a new magazine 
in our city for the promotion of social and 
general reform— -the writer acting as editor. 
The first number was published in May, i860, 
and for six months it continued. Mr. Alex- 
ander was a regular contributor. In it from 
his pen appeared " An Etching from Life," 
" How Harry Barker became an abstainer," 
"The Farmer Boy," and "Nathaniel Shearer, 
or entertainment for man and beast," the 
latter story characterised by Mr. Alexander's 
style of writing, and which was brought to a 
close earlier than the author intended, owing 
to the termination of the publication. The 
monthly meetings of the contributors arrang- 
ing for the subjects to be written upon were 
most pleasant and agreeable, not the least 
happy of the recollections being the quiet 
humour which Mr. Alexander evinced in his 
criticism of the work submitted by his 
colleagues. 

With all his capability and experience 
Mr. Alexander was one of the most modest 
of men, and one of the kindliest of critics. 
Of his own work he expressed himself 
in terms so characteristic that I quote it — 
" It was the lot of the writer to labour 
in a diversified way, from writing news- 
paper addresses to executing the combined 
function of Reporter and Sub-Editor, and 
a few odds and ends in addition. To 
that part of the work the only reference that 



i So 



Brown's Book-Stall. 



household Xinens. 

P. BEVERIDGE, 

Invites Inspection of his Stock of 

Table Linen, Cotton & Linen Sheetings, 

Towels and Towellings, Blankets, 

Flannels, Eider=Down Quilts, 

ALSO — 

Cad Us and Children s llnder clot king 



Mamage and Foreign Napery and Outfitting 

Orders Marked and Delivered 

Ready for Use. 

39 & 41 ST. flICflOIiAS STREET, 
ABERDEEN. 

Established 1843. Telephone No. 381 



MUSIC BOOKS, / f\ 
MAGAZINES, /*^ 
And Books of all /£>*/ 
Kinds Bound /^p/ % 
At Lowest / ^NV 
Prices. X^T> 

* <~^^/ rnce List rost 

/,0/W- J Middleton, 

V^ / Adelphi Works, 

V'X 28 and 29 ADELPHI. 




Established over 50 Years. 

William Gay & Sons, 

432 UNION STREET 

AND 

215 GEORGE STREET. 
Works— Union Wynd. 

FUNERALS Conducted in Town and Country at 

Moderate Charges. 

Largest Stock of Funeral Requisites in the North 

of Scotland. 

Telegrams — "Cay, Aberdeen." 



Compilers and Publishers of 

"3n (Wltmoviam" 

An Annual Obituary of Aberdeen and Vicinity, 

with Biographical Notes and Portraits of 

Prominent Citizens. 

" Full of local interest." — Aberdeen Journal. 

Pri (Crown 8vo), SIXPENC 

Back Volumes, NINEPENCE. 



Established 1830, 



W. & J. Walker, 

Umbrella 
roanafaetufetfrs, 

98 Union Street, 
&ber&eetL 



Brown's Book-Stall. 



can be made here is that amid whatever 
imperfections, it was done with a fairly stead- 
fast devotion to the interests of the paper, 
and at least with no desire to shirk a fair 
share of continuous personal labour." Not 
only was he known and honoured as a 
" Journalist," but he has given to the world 
in Aberdeenshire vernacular " Johnnie Gibb 
of Gushetneuk," which has earned for its 
author undying fame. The University con- 
ferred upon him the Honorary Degree of 
LL.D., and in doing so they voiced public 
opinion, which appreciated very highly his 
literary work and valued citizenship. To 
few men has it been given to have, as he had, 
the confidence of the foremost men in the 
city. In every scheme for the political, 
municipal, and social well-being of Aberdeen 
he was in closest touch with those who 
planned, and he did his best in assisting 
practically in carrying out such proposals. 
Dr. Alexander was a true and genuine friend, 
a man of public spirit and wide knowledge. 
His influence was far-reaching, and the 
beautiful monument erected to his memory 
in Nellfield Cemetery will keep alive the 
features and countenance of one, who as a 
citizen fulfilled its duties with a high moral 
purpose, and with a quiet, unobtrusive 
activity which was free from selfishness, and 
ever devoted to the best interests of his 
fellow townsmen. 



Hailmay Hovels, 

2/, for 1/6. 

A Large Stock of New Novels and General 
Literature always on hand. 

DISCOUNT PRICES. 

BROWN'S BOOK-STALL, 

83 & 85 Union St., Aberdeen. 



For Good Scotch Stories ^^^^ 

Read CRAIGDAM & ITS MINISTERS 
by George Walker. Price Sixpence. 

A. Brown &* Co., Publishers, Aberdeen. 



THE BOOK OF THE MONTH, 

" "OR Aberdeen readers at any rate, is " Reuben 
Dean." The author is an Aberdeenshire 
'"ggpfc) man, Rev. William Leslie Low ; the scene 
I is laid in Aberdeenshire ; and it is written, 

partly at least, in good Aberdeenshire Scotch. 
Not the southron dialect with which the Kailyard 
School have deluged the world, but our own Doric, 
which we often hear but seldom read. The events 
take place principally in the neighbourhood of 
Inverurie, partly in Aberdeen, sketching life at the 
old Grammar School and University, and partly on 
the Indian Frontier. The characters are well-drawn. 
Jacob Dean in particular is a life-like Scot of the old 
school, a race which we hope will be long in dying 
out. The interest of the story keeps up all through, 
and holds the attention of old and young. Altogether 
the book is one which will be read and enjoyed both 
by boys and their fathers. When we say that it is 
published by the famous Scots publishers, Messrs. 
Oliphant, Anderson, & Ferrier, it seems superfluous 
to mention that it is well got up, illustrated, and 
tastefully bound. It is, however, important to note 
that it can be got for the sum of 2/8 cash at Brown's 
Bookstall. 

Another book which is also of special interest 
locally is "The Secession in the North : The Story 
of an Old Seceder Presbytery, 1688-1897 " (3/6 net). 
It is written by Mr. James Thomas Findlay, who was 
at one time on the staff of the Peterhead Sentinel, and 
is now doing editorial work in South Shields. It has 
a number of illustrations and portraits, and as the 
subject is one of interest to many " hereabout and 
far awa'," the sale bids fair to be good. Copies are 
going well at Brown's Book-Stall, which was founded 
by an old Seceder, as you may learn, with many 
interesting details, in " Aberdeen Awa' : ' (5/- net) and 
" Craigdam and its Ministers " (6d.). 



MORE SCOTCH HUMOUR. 

On returning from the funeral of a laird in the 
Perthshire Highlands not long since, the tenants were 
discussing the important question of whether the new- 
comer was likely to prove as good a landlord as the 
the old one, when one old Highlander, who appeared 
to know more than the rest, settled it by saying — 
" Ach, no, we peeried ta wrong man to-day." 



&2 



Brown's Book-Stall. 



BON-ACCORD HOTEL 

AND RESTAURANT, 
17 and 19 MARKET STREET, 

ABERDEEN. 



Tourists, Commercial Gentlemen, and Residenters 
will find this the best appointed Restaurant in Town 
in which to Lunch, Dine, take Tea or Supper. 
Largest Public Dining Hall in Town. Ladies' 
Private Dining Room. 

Magnificent separate Suites of Rooms for Dinners, 

Marriages, Assemblies, etc. 

Wines and Liquors of the Finest Quality. 

JOHN B. MOLLISON, Proprietor. 



Marriages, Garden Parties, 
Homes," Etc., 



At 



Contracted for in Town and Country, and personally 
conducted. 



ALL CYCLISTS 

Should get a copy of The Cyclists' 
Pocket Book for 1898. Price 1/-. 
From A. Brown & Co., Aberdeen. 










Alec Cook 




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it AH^lnhi nRST DO0R FR0M 

■J l AUC1U111 UNION ST., LEFT SIDE 


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with Envelopes made exactly to match. 



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400 p.p., price 5/- net. Postage 4± 

ABERDEEN AWA 

Sketches of its Men, Manners, and Customs. 

By GEORGE WALKER. 

With Portraits and Illustrations. 



The volume contains nearly double the matter which 
appeared in Brown's Book-Stall." 

Aberdeen: A. BROWN &» CO. 

Edinburgh : JOHN MENZIES <&* CO., 

and all Booksellers. 






SfcLF- 




Specially drawn by Mr, A, S, Boyd for "Brown's Book-Stall, 



1 84 



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AGENT FOR AMERICAN 

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Price. — 10 % to 20 % under the usual prices. 

Desks with Pedestal and Drawers on each 
side, Fitments complete, for £5 15s. 



(practtcaf £a6tndmafter an* (Upflofeferer, 
19 & 21 ROSE STREET, Aberdeen, 



WoKKS— 

28 &. 30 Summer St. 
Telephone 617. 



Branch Shop — 

Hendersons Buildings, 
South Market St. 



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TAILORING. 

Large Variety of 
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SPECIAL.— Harris Tweed Long Coat. 

Boys' Norfolk and Rugby Suits in New Winter 

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10 St. Nicholas Street. 

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63- UNION STREET— 85 



TEA FIRST HAND. 
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and sold to Consumers first-hand saving all Intermediate Profits. 

His Original Blended Teas 

comprise the finest growths of the world's production, and are 
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SIGDOFGIORflSb&PeD 

Being some notes on the 
Black and White Artists 
of to day 



185 



No. 



MR. A. S. BOYD. 




^SAR commences his " Com- ' 
mentaries," as we have all 
good reason to remember, 
by announcing in the best 
Latin at his command, the 
doubtless important fact that 
omnes Gallia divisa est in tres 
partes ; similarly the chronicle 
of the career of Mr. A. S. 
Boyd, to whom to-day we render obeisance, may be 
begun by the statement that it also is divided into three 
parts, of which the Gentle Art of Banking forms the 
first, painting in oil and water-colours the second, and 
working in black and white the third stages. True, 
the days spent in the laying up of treasure for other 
people in that modern Temple of Juno Moneta the 
Royal Bank of Scotland, were neither congenial to him 
personally, nor are they of any very great historical 
importance, but the reader will readily realise that if 
the pretty little parallel from the pages of the " Gallic 
War " was to be worked in at all, they had to receive 
their due share of attention. 

Glasgow takes his coming calmly. 

The year 1854 is notable for three events. It saw the 
outbreak of the Crimean War ; it was productive of so 
exceptional a harvest as to demand a special "Thanks- 
giving " ; and in it Alexander Stuart Boyd issued into 
existence to his own accompaniment. While on the 
subject, we may point out that those who pine to see 
how celebrities look in the earliest and most immature 
period of their career, will find a capital likeness of 
of the infant Alexander drawn from memory by him- 
self on another page of this issue. Glasgow, where 
the event which was subsequently to have no small 
influence on the history of Scottish humorous journal- 
ism, took place, was for the moment quiet, and the 



year locally was otherwise marked by no event of out- 
standing importance, nor do there appear to have been 
any portents of so auspicious a circumstance. The 
town was slowly recovering from a visit from the 
Queen and Prince Albert, and looking forward with 
anxiety to the Second Coming of the British Associa- 
tion, when Alexander intruded upon the scene, but it 
may at once be stated candidly that none of the events 
I have mentioned had the slightest effect upon his 
career. Glasgow generally took his advent quietly, 
and there was no undue exhibition of Jingoism. 

Early Days of the Infant Boyd. 

Mr. Boyd's father was a muslin manufacturer for the 
East India trade, but died when the former was only ten 
years of age, so that his influence had little effect in 
determining the future artist's career. Indeed, the 
source from which A. S. B. derived his artistic leanings 
is "wrop in mistery,'' and History fails to record that 
prior to his coming a Boyd had ever handled a pencil or 
a brush, save for the making of a memorandum or the 
white-washing of a ceiling. Indirectly, however, it is to 
his aunt that Mr. Boyd attributes his first longings after 
the Brush and Pen. When a child of three or four years 
of age he was taken seriously ill, and for his amuse- 
ment, when recovering, this estimable lady brought 
him, after the manner of aunts, a number of illustrated 
papers and a box of paints. Being a boy, and only 
human, to cut out the pictures occurred to him instinc- 
tively, and this occupation, begun as a means of enliven- 
ing the weary days of convalescence, was destined to 
become a means of kindling in him the dormant 
admiration for pictorial art. Soon afterwards he tried 
to make pencil drawings from some of the pictures, and 
thus by what might be called ' ' easy steps " worked 
his way into the domain of Art. The illustrated papers 
fostered the idea, the box of paints brought it to 



i86 



Brown's Book-Stall. 



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ORDINARY 




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THE QUEEN. 



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l^vapete, IBeff and ^lUraee ^oun&ere, 

PLUMBERS, GASFITTERS, COPPERSMITHS, &c, 

Manufacturers of £\)er^ Description, of 12»rass and popper {fiofft 
for Distillers, ISreWers, Engineers, plumbers, §0, 

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,87 



life, while to the kindly encouragement he received 
from a friendly neighbour, afterwards his brother- 
in-law Mr. James Cowan, is in a measure due 
its establishment on a permanent basis. When 
about twelve years of age, young Boyd went for 
three months or so to the School of Art, then in Ingram 
Street under Mr. Robert Greenlees, and afterwards 
took drawing lessons in the school he attended. This 
extremely modest amount of tuition comprised all the 
art education he ever received prior to his adoption of 
art as a profession. 

Boyd becomes a Banker — 

On leaving school, Mr. Boyd entered the service o. 
the Royal Bank of Scotland, and here he remained for 
some six years, devoting a most valuable period of his 
life to work which, at best, was uncongenial to him. 
It is not recorded of him that he went so far as to 
decorate the Bank Ledgers with portraits of the 
customers, but he daily, or rather nightly, laid down 
the pen only to take up the brush, returning from 
the drawing of cheques to that of more attractive, if 
less profitable things. 

But he cannot serve Mammon and 
the Muse. 

Eventually, however, he resolved to end the 
struggle against his own nature, and to go where 
inclination and special endowment both pointed. In 
short, he could not serve Mammon and the Muse ; 
and what the Royal Bank lost, Art in the highest 
sense of the word gained. Having taken the decisive 
step which ended the first stage of his career, Mr. 
Boyd threw heart and soul into his new profession. 
He attended the Life Classes of the Art Club, and 
about 1880 went for a few months to Heatherley's 
in Newman Street, London. With these exceptions, 
however, he received no professional training, and is 
to a large extent a self-taught artist. While yet 
an amateur he made his appearance on the walls of 
the Royal Scottish Academy with a small landscape 
in oil, and in 1877 exhibited for the first time 
in the Glasgow Institute. Nine years later 
found him adding to the interest of the exhibition at 
the Royal Institute of Painters in Water-colours, 
since when, until he finally abandoned colour work 
for black and white, he was a constant exhibitor at 
well-known "shows," including the Royal Academy. 
In 1882 he got his R.S.W., being elected a member 
of the Royal Scottish Water-Colour Society ; while 
he is also not unknown to Royalty, having been one of 



a deputation of four —the others being Sir Francis 
Powell, Colin Hunter, and Joseph Henderson — who 
presented Her Majesty with the Society's Album, 
prepared for the occasion of her first Jubilee. 

The Labours of Boyd. 

Among the many works in oil and water-colour 
that Mr. Boyd has produced during the sixteen years 
or so which he devoted to this branch of Art, special 
mention ought to be made of " The Rivals," painted 
in 1887, and hung at the Art Club Exhibition at 
Annan's. Mr. Boyd is a disciple of Wilkie, and in 
this work there is ample evidence of that Master's 
humour and style of treatment. Other pictures of note 
are "The Widow's Mite," a pathetic and powerful 
piece of work, "Drill," " Disinherited," " The Eve of 
Departure," "The First Visitor," "Sabbath Morn," 
and his tender and humorous " Other Grandfather," 
exhibited in the Scottish Academy in 1889. To the list 
must also of course be added a dramatic representation 
of a touching incident in the life of Burns, which was 
exhibited at the Glasgow International Exhibition of 
1889, and which is the largest work Mr. Boyd has yet 
attempted. 

He forsakes the Brush for the Pen. 

Meantime the attractions of Black and White were 
luring him on. As a rule the latter proves but' a 
stepping stone to the attainment of success in oils, but 
Mr. Boyd reversed the usual order of things by first 
winning his spurs in the more difficult of the two 
branches of Art, and then turning his attention to the 
other. While working in colours he had been giving 
a considerable amount of his time to illustrations, 
cartoons, and humorous sketches for various publica- 
tions. In 1879 he had been commissioned by Dr. 
Donald Macleod to supply some illustrations for a story 
by Sarah Tytler in Good Words, and a year later laid 
the foundation of the great reputation he has right 
worthily earned as a humorous artist. 

All men knew him as "Twym." 

Over the well-known signature of "Twym" he 
contributed for many years, first to Quiz and latterly 
to the Bailie, a series of delightfully entertaining 
drawings. From the start of the former in 1881, till 
he broke off his connection on the paper changing 
hands in 1888, his work appeared every week without 
fail in its pages, and it is not too much to say, though 
Mr. Boyd would be the last to admit it, that his happy 
conceits have proved no mean factor in adding to the 



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About this time too, he represented 
the Graphic in Glasgow, but confesses 
there was little for him to do, the 
City of St. Mungo being a well ordered 
City, muchly given to municipilisation 
— and London cannot rise to the 
vagaries of Scotch Bailies. When the 
Daily Graphic started, however, he was 
asked to be its illustrator of local events, 
whereupon he contributed two or three 
sketches to it weekly from the first 
number till October, 1891, when at the 
suggestion of that right good friend of 
artist and author alike, Mr. W. L. 
Thomas, R. I., Mr. Boyd migrated to 
the "big toon." 

Hey for London ! 

In London Mr. Boyd obtained greater 
scope for his undoubted genius, and 
finding a ready and profitable market 
for his excellent black and white work, 
he practically ceased being a painter 
and embarked on the third stage of 
his evolution. He immediately joined 
the Daily Graphic staff and has con- 
stantly been represented in its pages 
from that time until the present. 
Latterly, on account of the regretted 
illness of Mr. Reginald Cleaver, the 
well-known parliamentary artist, Mr. 
Boyd has done most of the House of 
Commons work, having, in addition 
to his other accomplishments, a happy 
knack of drawing an excellent likeness 
almost at a moment's notice. 



Mother—" 
Alexander- 
clean 

From 



Unnecessary. 
Haven't you got your gloves, Alexander ? " 
-"No, Mater. But my hands are quite 



Punch" by permission 0/ Messrs. Bradbury 
Agnew, & Co., Ltd. 



gaiety of Nations. Indeed Twym's drawings — usually 
capital character studies in which the picture illustrates 
the " legend," and not the other away about, as is so 
often the case — were the life and soul of the publica- 
tion in which they appeared. On leaving Qttiz Mr. 
Boyd transferred his services to the Bailie, to which 
he contributed many vastly amusing sketches. 



"Punch" welcomes him. 

In 1894 he arrived at Punch, mak- 
ing his debut almost simultaneously 
with Mr. J. A. Shepherd, the brilliant 
and humorous animal artist whose "Zig- 
Zags at the Zoo" everybody knows, and 
the irrepressible Mr. Phil May. 
"You were late in finding your way into the Valhalla 
of the black and white artist," I remarked, when dis- 
cussing the matter with him. 

" I might have attained to Punch sooner," he 
replied, " had I not devoted so many years to work of 
a similar kind in Glasgow. But," he added as an 
after -thought, " perhaps I mightn't ! " 




1 1h'l\\\ 



The prentit stanes that mark the deid, 
Wi' lengthened lip the sarious read." 



Illustration from R. L. Stevenson's "A Lowden Sabbath Mom" by permission oj 
Messrs. Chatto of Windus. 



Brown's Book-Stall. 



191 



His first contribution appeared in the issue of 7th 
April in that year, and was a sketch of a lady in an 
omnibus, whose outrageously large sleeves extinguished 
her neighbours as effectually as the crinoline of her 
grandmother (according to Leech) had cancelled her 
grandfather. Since then Mr. Boyd has contributed 
very regularly to Mr. Burnand's pages, his drawings, 
as is always the case with him, being characterised by 
the great care with which they are executed, and "a 
singular appreciation of the value of his blacks," as 
Mr. Speilmann remarks in his " History of Punch." 
One of the latest which has appeared in Punch (in the 
issue for April 9th last) we are permitted through the 
courtesy of Messrs Bradbury, Agnew & Co., Ltd., the 
proprietors of our only " comic," to reproduce. 

More Labours. 

In addition to his work in the pages of the Daily 
Graphic and Punch, Mr. Boyd has also contributed 
largely to the Graphic and many of the leading 
magazines. He has also done a number of book 
illustrations, of which, perhaps, the most important — 
certainly the most congenial, inasmuch as they were 
done mainly for his own pleasure, and at his own 
time — are a brilliant series for Stevenson's exquisite 
" A Lowden Sabbath Morn," a charming and elegant 
edition of which has lately been published by Messrs 
Chatto & Windus, to whose courtesy and kindness we 
are indebted for a loan of the electro of one of the 
drawings in question, illustrative of the lines : — 

" The prentit stanes that mark the deid 
Wi' lengthened lip, the sarious read ; 
Syne wag a moraleesin' heid 

An' then and there 
Their hirplin' practice an' their creed 

Try hard to square." 

Bearding the Lion in his Den. 

A visit to Mr Boyd at his happily-named dwelling, 
" The Hut," away on the outer boulevards of London 
town, is something to be remembered, and goes far to 
reconcile one to the invidious position of interviewer. 
But did space and the relentless editor permit, one 
might enlarge for pages on the attractions of ' ' The 
Hut " itself, with its perfect little sanctum of a studio, 
which is also the working-room of the artist's wife, 
the author of numerous excellent stories and sketches, 
in many cases illustrated by her husband, and well 
known to the readers of the weekly papers and the 
magazines. 



The Magerfu' Maggot. 

Around the walls of this apartment are hung all 
sorts of weapons and curios, one of which, some South 
African utensil, had, about the time of my visit, 
developed a maggot of enormous and fearsome pro- 
portions. On all the ordinary poisons to which its 
English equivalent has been known to succumb, this 
uncanny creature throve amazingly, and gave promise 
of multiplying at compound interest rate. Stringent 
measures had to be adopted if " The Hut " was not 
to become a sort of tunnelled replica of the Under- 
ground Railway, so Mr. Boyd, remembering the Lord 
High Executioner's remedy of "Something lingering 
with boiling oil," took the bull by the horns, or rather 
the utensil and all that therein was, and boiled the lot ! 
The " foreign devil " rather liked a full-bodied poison, 
but couldn't stand this, and incontinently died. With 
such like cheery reminiscence did Mr. Boyd beguile 
the time till the gathering shadows warned me that 
trains and 'buses wait for no man, and I bade him 
good-bye as he sped city- wards to prepare a picture 
of a night march of the Volunteers for the next issue 
of the Daily Graphic. 

J. G. R. 



1 



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No. IV. 



HE world has ever 
had its comple- 
ment of wiseacres, 
and Aberdeen has 
never been with- 
out it's contin- 
gent. These good 
people, or at any- 
rate a proportion 
of them, never 
seem to tire of 
telling us that 
musical education has not advanced one little 
bit locally, and that culture in that direc- 
tion stands exactly where it did in the dark 
ages ! My experience is somewhat different. 
Let us hie away back to the sixties, and what 
do we find ? There were then three distinct 
vocal bodies in existence meeting regularly 
for the practice of part-singing. First in 
point of age came the Aberdeen Musical 
Association, founded in the autumn of 1852, 
and ably conducted by Mr. Richard Latter, 
who a year previously had made "a local 
habitation and," ultimately, "a name" for 
himself in the Granite City. Then came the. 
Aberdeen Choral Society, instituted in 1853, 
under the capable leadership of Mr. James 
Melvin, a working moulder to trade, but an 
enthusiastic musician. The last of the trio 
was the Aberdeen Choral Union which was 
formed on 10th November, 1858. Mr. 



Latter was the first conductor of the "Union." 
Sol-fa was an almost unknown quantity in 
those days. To be sure Mr. Ludovic G. Sandi- 
son was struggling against heavy odds to 
introduce the new notation, and in the sixties 
was conducting appreciative classes of young 
people who were willing to give the " letter" 
notation a trial. And Mr. James Henderson, 
too, was doing his level best for the good of 
Hamilton's Patent Union Notation. This 
was a laudable attempt to combine " sol-fa " 
and "staff" together, but with the rapid spread 
of the former the combination has now lapsed. 
Mr. Alexander Clerihew, or " Sandy " as he 
was more familiarly styled by his intimates, 
was also in the field holding his own with the 
staff notation. What a grand tenor voice 
Mr. Clerihew was the happy possessor of. I 
think I hear it ringing through the rafters at 
the Kirk of Nigg where he was precentor for 
a number of years. He had no choir 
properly speaking, but a lot of the fisher 
lassies were wont to turn out of a Sunday 
morning, and, as soon as he had them fairly 
under way with the treble, he struck in to the 
tenor part himself. There may have been 
more refined singing in some of the city 
churches, but there certainly was no more 
hearty praise to be heard anywhere than in 
Nigg Parish Church while "Sandy" was at 
the helm. 

My recollection of Mr. Sandison inclines 
me to the opinion that he was more a 
theorist than a vocalist. That he was a 
devoted and painstaking teacher no one will, 
I think, deny. The same may be said, but, 
perhaps, in a more modified sense, of Mr. 
Henderson's abilities. Then there was Mr. 



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Donald Reid, the precentor of the Free East 
Church, who was wont to give lessons in 
singing at several of the week-day schools 
connected with the Free Church. Mr. Reid, 
who died at a ripe old age only a very short 
time ago, was essentially a teacher of the old 
style in schools of the period, viz. : by ear. 
He visited, every week, the Free East Church 
School, St. Andrew Street, while I was a 
pupil there, and the lesson used to extend to 
about half-an-hour's duration. In the senior 
classes we were taught the lines and spaces 
on the black-board. Mr. Reid had a peculiar 
system of rewards. He carried in one of his 
waistcoat pockets a supply of peppermint 
lozenges, and these he distributed among 
those who had sung best or answered the 
almost stereotyped questions asked on each 
occasion. On the front form there were 
three boys who divided honours, musically, 
as one might say, each taking his turn in 
leading the singing of the school in the 
morning, previous to prayer. One of these 
is now chief reporter on the staff of the 
Scotsman in Edinburgh, and also performs 
the duties of art critic for his paper— -Mr. 
Wm. M. Gilbert. The second, I have lost 
sight of for some time, although I believe 
he is located in Aberdeen. He also is a 
Gilbert, but not of the same family. I think 
he learned to be an engineer or millwright. 
Both their " front " names was William, I 
think, and in order to distinguish one from 
t'other the latter was dubbed " black " Gilbert, 
from the colour of his hair, as far as I can 
recollect. The third little " nickum " was 
yours obediently. 

Another vocal instructor of the time was 
Mr. Alexander Colston, an Edinburgh mason 
to trade. He originally came to Aberdeen to 
be precentor of the West Parish Church, 
immediately preceding Mr. Wm. Carnie. 
Mr. Colston, or " Old Cole " as we boys 
used to call him, had resigned his position 
in the West Kirk, but retained his teaching 
of " the young idea how to sing " at Robert 
Gordon's Hospital, the Boys' Hospital, 
known in vulgar parlance as the " Fugees," 
and Mrs. Emslie's Institution for Girls in 
Albyn Place. He also precented at 
the Thursday service which was weekly 



held in St. Mary's Chapel, underneath the 
back end of the East Parish Church, and 
thereby hangs a tale. The congregation 
consisted chiefly of a handful of decrepit old 
women, the two Melvins, blind musicians, 
singer and violinist, and an occasional 
"rank outsider." Each of the ministers 
of the six city churches took his turn in 
conducting the worship, and, as I have 
said, Mr. Colston led the praise. He 
lived at Bieldside, and as he had no other 
engagement in town of a Thursday, he was 
only too glad when he could pick up a 
substitute to do duty at the service in St. 
Mary's. I was then a budding young 
precentor, but without a charge. Some years 
previous to the incident I am about to relate, 
I had, to be precise, with all the confidence 
of youth — having only seen some ten summers 
— donned the gown and led the singing at 
the Parish Church, Kintore, and on coming 
out of the latern had tripped on the afore- 
mentioned robe, which was of course " miles " 
too big and too long for me, and my exit was 
more hurried than dignified on that occasion. 
Well, to make a long story short, I was a 
kind of protege of Mr. Colston's, and so it 
came about that I took duty for him on 
a memorable Thursday. During the week I 
had been adding the long metre tune 
" Melcombe " to my psalm-tune repertoire, 
and ere the fateful day came round I could 
sing it without the book ! Alas ! for human 
vanity Rev. Mr. Philip, then minister of St. 
Clements, was the clergyman, and to my 
delight gave out a long metre psalm to open 
the service with. In this I scored, notwith- 
standing the quavering, not to say untuneful, 
help I got from the congregation. The 2nd 
Paraphrase was next given out, and to this I 
had made up my mind to sing " Evan." I 
disdained the use of even a C pitchfork in 
those glorious days ; and judge of my con- 
sternation when I had reached the second 
line of the paraphrase to find myself 
repeating " Melcombe." I had more nerve 
then than I have now, however, for quick as a 
lightning flash the inspiration came to me 
that by " doubling," or repeating the last two 
words or syllables in the second and fourth 
lines of each verse, I might be able to get 



loo 



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197 



through the " singing " without having to 
stop and begin again. At the close of five 
verses, sung in the manner I have described, 
if I did not sit down altogether covered 
with glory, confusion did not certainly over- 
whelm me. The third essay for the day 
was the short metre psalm beginning with the 
line — " Lord bless and pity us." This I sang 
to the tune " Evan " before mentioned ! 
When the service was ended, Mr. Philip, who 
was not musical — at least I don't think he 
could have been — complimented his youthful 
precentor on the two new, though, as he put 
it, " rather peculiar " tunes sung in the 
middle of the service ! The horror of the 
situation did not strike me fully till some 
years afterwards. 

Another worthy citizen, who did a lot of 
class teaching in Aberdeen, was Mr. James 
Macbeth, father of the present proprietor of 
"Macbeth's Music Saloon." If I recollect 
aright he taught in what was known as the 
Baptist Academy in Diamond Lane, and I 
am under the impression Mr. Macbeth was 
the first to institute preparatory classes in 
connection with the Choral Union. In my 
next ramblings I shall endeavour to draw a 
comparision as between sight reading — so 
called — in the sixties, and reading at sight as 
we now know it. 

Frank Clements. 



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The famous " Book of Lismore " is to be reproduced 
in fac-simile by an Edinburgh firm. The MS., now 
in the Advocates' Library at Edinburgh, is practically 
the first genuine contribution that was made to Gaelic 
literature. The poetry which it contains was taken 
down from oral tradition some three hundred and 
fifty years ago by Sir James MacGregor, Dean of 
Lismore, Argyll, and his brother, who acted as kind 
of secretary. These literary churchmen were natives 
of Fortingall, in Perthshire. A complete transcript 
of the MS. was made by Ewen Ma Lachlan of 
Aberdeen in 1813 ; and a volume containing selections, 
with modern versions and translations, was published 
in 1862 by the late Dr. MacLachlan of Edinburgh. 
Ewen MacLachlan also published a volume of verses 
in Latin, English, and Gaelic, under the title of 
" Metrical Effusions on a variety of Subjects.'' A 
second edition was published in Aberdeen in 1816, of 
which A. Brown & Co. have still a few copies for 
sale — price 1/-. 

" I wish to establish a fine private library. What 
book is the best to start on?" " I would advise a 
pocketbook." 



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atYhe 

siGDOFGbeBRBSb&pen. 

WVv Being some notes on the 

Black and White Artists 

of to day 



No. ii.— SIR GEORGE REID, P.R.S.A. 




The Architect Gibb, then there's Phillip "of Spain," 
And now there's a Reid o'er our artists to reign, 
Good reason to cock up her beaver, I ween, 
With right " Bon-Accord " has Fine Art Aberdeen. 

The Bailie. 

Master Mind who runs this 
paper took me aside the other 
day, and, after a few kindly 
words of encouragement to the 
effect that, if I continued to 
neglect local men of Art in 
these pages, there would un- 
doubtedly be trouble, he con- 
tinued : 

1 ' It's all very well writing about this or that 
English artist and telling us what fine fellows they 
are. Charity, my dear sir," he added, "begins at 
home." 

" But all Aberdeen artists," I protested, " are great 
men, Browrfs Book-Stall, with all respect, is, on the 
other hand, as yet only in its infancy." 

He evidently, to his credit be it said, followed the 
argument to its logical conclusion. After a pause, 
however, he returned to the subject. 

" What we want," he resumed dreamily, " is a first- 
class local man — one in whom everybody is inter- 
ested. Now there is Sir George Reid " 

"Kind Sir," I ventured to interrupt, "ask me 
to do something difficult an you will. Raphael 
and Murillo are now, happily, in Heaven, and 
therefore beyond the range of practical politics, 
but there are still Poynter, and Alma Tadema, and 
Orchardson, and one or two others left. I will write 
to Alma Tadema for a coloured supplement with 
pleasure," I continued, "but don't, please, ask what 
is impossible." 



" Hoots, laddie," he replied, lapsing into the doric 
in his enthusiasm, "just you try your han' at Sir 
George and I think you'll find he's ower good natured 
to refuse." 

Need I say the prediction was in no way 
falsified ? Nobody who knows the kindly hearted, 
genial gentleman who to-day occupies the proud 
position of President of the Royal Scottish Academy 
needs to be told it was not. Sir George assented 
with ready grace — perhaps also with a smile. But it 
is with a very real appreciation of my lack of qualifica- 
tion for the task that I have written these notes. 
Sir George Reid occupies a position in the foremost 
rank of contemporary artists, and Joseph Pennell, 
himself an artist and a critic of the highest repute, has 
spoken of him as one of the finest pen draughtsmen the 
world has ever seen ; while I am but the humblest of 
scribes whose claims on the acquaintance of the 
President are as few as were common folks in Bara- 
taria. They are two in number and painfully slender. 
My first meeting was not so much with the President 
personally, as with his dog, the big animal from 
Kepplestone, which in its day must have been familiar 
to all Aberdonians, and it is perhaps unnecessary to 
add that the canine giant had much the better of the 
encounter. I was a very small boy then, and in 
those days Fame, at all events in one's immediate 
circle, was not difficult of attainment. At anyrate 
the fact that the St. Lukes' " bow-wow," doubtless in 
the exuberance of its joy at meeting one of the same 
name as its master, had bowled me over, made me for 
a brief period a sort of Piper Findlater of the hour. 
It was one of those distinctions, however, which one 
would rather have had expressed differently, but I have 
long ago forgiven poor old " Rab " — peace to his 
ashes ! On another occasion, in the exercise of my 
duties as office boy, I was privileged personally to 



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conduct Mr. Reid into the sanctum of his lawyer, and 
thereafter, like Mr. Ralston when his first drawing 
appeared in Punch, I tried to look unconscious of my 
greatness, and mentally determined that it would 
make no difference in my bearing. 

It is therefore, as I have said, with a feeling of very 
great diffidence that I have acceded to the Editorial 
edict to write something about Sir George Reid, more 
particularly in view of the many able writers whose 
pens might have been more worthily employed on so 
congenial a task — to mention only the genial author 
of " Aberdeen Awa'," whose reminiscences formed so 
attractive a feature of the Book-Stall in its earlier 
days ; or his learned namesake, the kindly hearted 
Ex-Dean of Guild, to whom I am personally greatly 
indebted for much valuable assistance in the very 
practical shape of a loan of an unpublished article 
written by him at the request of the then Editor of 
the Aberdeen Journal for the information of the 
Queen, Her Majesty — when about to commission 
portraits of Principal Tulloch and Dr. Norman Mac- 
leod— having expressed, through Lady Erroll, a wish 
to know something about Mr. Reid. 

Sir George, as everbody knows, is an Aberdeen 
loon, and we are all proud of the fact. In her time 
the Granite City has enriched not only the Art of this 
country, but the Art of the World by che labour of 
some of her sons. Here it was, as every good citizen 
can tell you, that George Jameson, the "Scottish 
Vandyck," who, it is said, studied under Reubens 
was born, while in more recent times Bon-Accord has 
produced, among others, Cassie, William Dyce, and 
John Phillip — a quartet of which any city might well be 
proud. And then in 1841, on 31st October to be 
precise, and just nine days before the birth of the 
Prince of Wales, came George Reid, the third son of 
George Reid, a well-known and highly-respected 
citizen in his day, and Esther Tait, his wife. That 
there were at least the germs of Art faculty in the 
family is proved not only by the brilliant career of 
George, but by the somewhat overshadowed successes 
of his younger brothers, Mr. A. D. Reid, A.R.S.A., 
and Mr. Samuel Reid, who have also proved them- 
selves accomplished wielders of the brush. As is 
usual in those predestined to artistic greatness, George 
shewed a fondness for pictures and a skill in making 
them at a decidedly early period of his existence, 
while at the mature age of twelve, having already 
received the elements of an ordinary education at "the 
Grammar" — that Alma Mater of so many famous 



townsmen — his father, appreciating the boy's skill, 
yet with the true caution of a son of the North, un- 
willing that the lad should risk the uncertainty of a 
painter's career, compromised the matter by apprentic- 
ing him for seven years to Messrs. Keith & Gibb, the 
well-known firm of lithographers in the city. Here 
he combined the advantages of turning the traditional 
" honest penny," while at the same time remaining 
not altogether separated from his beloved Art, and 
even, in the last two years of his term, putting his 
skill to some practical purpose, as some very fine 
work executed by him for the two volumes of Dr. 
John Stuart's " Sculptured Stones of Scotland," 
issued by the original Spalding Club, will bear witness. 

It was while serving with Messrs. Keith & Gibb 
that he struck up an acquaintance with William 
Niddrie, a portrait painter who had been a pupil 
of James Giles, R.S.A., and who eventually ended 
his career as porter in the Aberdeen Savings Bank. 

For Niddrie, Sir George has the highest regard and 
respect, and of his kind and genial disposition the 
warmest recollection. Speaking of those early days 
and his association with the struggling portrait painter, 
he has given me some most interesting reminiscences 
which will, I think, be new to many of the Book-Stall 
readers. It was not until after he was married and 
had a family that Niddrie took to Art — too late in life 
for the attainment of any real success. He laboured 
too, under the disadvantage of being able to obtain 
but little instruction, a few lessons from Giles being 
about all he ever had. His enthusiasm for Art, how- 
ever, was something wonderful, and he lost no 
opportunity of endeavouring to increase his know- 
ledge. He had read various "Lives" of famous 
painters, Edmund Burke's " On the sublime and the 
beautiful," Reynold's " Discourses," and other books 
of the kind, and it was a rare treat, Sir George told 
me, to hear him talk of art and artists. Before the 
discovery of photography he had good employment as 
a portrait painter. He used to travel about the 
country to Huntly, Inverurie, Peterhead, Fraserburgh 
and other neighbouring towns and villages, painting 
portraits of the farmers and shopkeepers, on occasion 
(when the husbands were in a particularly amiable 
frame of mind) their wives, and even at times a small 
laird or local dignitary. The prices he received were, 
however, very small, and with the discovery of 
photography he found his practice first fall off and 
then finally disappear altogether, so that he was 
compelled to look about for some other means of 



202 



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Aberdeen: A. BROWN & CO. 

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By SIR GEORGE REID, /\R.S.A. 



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205 



livelihood. Sir George first made his acquaintance 
while porter in the Savings Bank, then in the Guest- 
row, from which he subsequently moved with the 
Bank to Exchange Street, where he lived on the 
premises, but in those later days he gave up painting 
entirely, being then an old man. It was during the 
former period, however, that young Reid used to go 
to Niddrie in the summer mornings at the early hour 
of six o'clock. At the time of the lessons the latter 
lived in Skene Street, near the Denburn, and in 
a house in which Caesar Altria, an optician, had a 
shop. The house is still there, and may be 
recognised by the metal balcony outside one of the 
windows. Niddrie's room was the uppermost one, 
and in it for an hour and a half once a week, and at 
the modest fee of one shilling a lesson, he gave of his 
knowledge to the President that was to be. 

" I think," said Sir George in conclusion, " that he 
had true artistic instincts, but he never had a chance 
of developing them. 

' Chill penury repressed his noble rage, 
And froze the genial current of his soul.' 

I quote from memory," he continued, " but that is 
how William Niddrie's case has always appeared 
to me." 

Reid had to be at Keith & Gibb's place at nine 
o'clock, and — our Tom Manns and our Keir Hardies 
being then but in embryo and the Eight Hours Day 
not yet a question of practical politics— with the 
exception of an hour for dinner, he remained at work 
until 8 p.m. Notwithstanding the long hours, how- 
ever, he was not content to rest, but spent his evenings 
sketching from Nature or copying the plates of Hard- 
ing's " Park and Forest." On his holidays he used to 
visit Edinburgh, choosing a time when the Exhibition 
of the Royal Scottish Academy was open. On one 
such occasion he made the acquaintance of one of his 
predecessors in office, Sir George Harvey, who 
received the youthful Aberdonian with great kindness, 
and bestowed on him the customary quota of good 
advice, to which the future Sir George doubtless 
answered with Ophelia, 

I shall the effect of this good counsel keep 
As watchman to my heart, 

or at anyrate in words of similar meaning. Naturally 
enough, the young laddie, like the lady in the 
ballad (who unfortunately for the gratification of her 
curiosity was a "little too young to know"), was of 
an enquiring disposition, the special point on which 
he wanted information being as to whether Sir George 



Harvey would advise him to become a painter. The 
great man's reply was characteristically Scotch. " I 
daren't, I daren't," he is reported to have" said, 
"the decision must rest with yourself." 

But as Ex-Dean of Guild Walker somewhat poetic- 
ally puts it, " the routine of a lithographic establish- 
ment was becoming irksome, and so, shortly after 
completing his apprenticeship, about i860, he left the 
steady and certain salary of a journeyman lithographer 
for the long unpaid and toilsome study of the Life 
Class at the School of the Academy in Edinburgh." 
Of this, the turning point in his career, Mr. Reid's 
own reminiscences are also interesting. In a very 
able and exhaustive article from the pen of Mr. J. 
M. Gray, which appeared in the Art Journal some 
years ago, and to which I am greatly indebted for 
many of the incidents, in Mr. Reid's life story herein 
referred to, they are thusly recalled : 

" He started early one chill, dark morning in the end of 
Octoher, with a heavy heart, and anxious enough about his 
future. He says that now, when he looks back upon the time, 
it seems all like some weird, unreal dream, and he remembers 
how, as the train skirted the coast between Aberdeen and 
Stonehaven, and the day dawned in splendour over the sea, his 
thoughts went instinctively to a similar effect of sunrise in the 
' Columbus' of Sir George Harvey, which he had seen in Edin- 
burgh — he, too, going out into the Unknown to discover his 
New World." 

One of Sir George's earliest recollections of Edin- 
burgh is of the School of Design, about that time just 
reorganised, where he remembers seeing Robert Scott 
Lauder, the painter of "The Trial of Efhe Deans," 
and the master of Orchardson, Pettie, and Chalmers, 
paying his last visit to the school. 

Nine months in Edinburgh, however, sufficed to 
exhaust his none too plentiful supply of the needful 
denarii, and he returned to Aberdeen practically 
penniless, but though not quite reduced to that stage 
at which Burns wrote — 

Thus all obscure, unknown, and poor, through life I'm doomed 

to wander O, 
Till down my weary bones I lay in everlasting slumber O, 
No view nor care, but shun whate'er might breed me pain or 

sorrow O, 
I live to-day as well's I may, regardless of to-morrow O — 

he was nevertheless glad to paint portraits for a few 
shillings each — frame included. To the credit of 
Aberdeen be it said, he received advantageous offers 
of work as a lithographic artist, but the President that 
was to be was made of sterner stuff than would permit 
him to give way, so, metaphorically speaking, he 



206 



Brown's Book-StalL. 



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207 



nailed his canvas to the easel and took the Miltonic 

advice to argue not 

Against Heaven's hand or will, nor bate a jot 
Of heart or hope ; but still bear up and steer 
Right onward. 

Virtue, assisted it must be admitted by a tremendous 
amount of hard work and grim determination, had its 
reward, " A Border Tower "' passing muster and being 
exhibited in the R.S.A. Exhibition of 1862. True it 
was not hung on the line, and got scraped abundantly 
by the crinolines of the period, but it sold nevertheless 
for the munificent sum of fifty shillings sterling, 



F. White, LL.D., now of Dundee, but well re- 
membered as one of the warmest and most practical 
supporters of Art in Scotland, had purchased in 
the International Exhibition of 1862 a large land- 
scape by Mollinger which so impressed the young 
artist that he determined if possible to study under 
the Dutch master. On preferring the request, 
Mollinger readily assented, and Reid set out for 
Utrecht. Mollinger, who, by the way, died at the 
early age of 34, had been a pupil of the Dutch 
Roelofs, and had been greatly influenced by Troyon, 
and under his care the young Scotsman, working 




By SIR GEORCE REID, P.R.S.A. 



having in the first instance been modestly priced at 
five pounds. 

Having remained for two years in Aberdeen, he 
returned again to Edinburgh to study at the Life 
Classes and from the Antique. Dame Fortune's 
golden smile, personified for the moment by the 
Association for the Promotion of Fine Arts in Scot- 
land, beamed upon him in the very practical way of 
purchasing two of his landscapes, " Cawdor Castle" 
and another, for thirty five-pounds. It was about this 
time, too, that he first came under the influence of 
Continental Art. A friend in Aberdeen, Mr. T. 



assiduously, made rapid progress in his self-chosen 
profession. Two years later Reid left for Paris, 
there to study form in Yvon's atelier, afterwards 
returning to the Hague to paint in the studio of his 
friend Josef Israels. 

And here may be said to end the First Lesson. 

From this time progress and promotion were as 
rapid as they had been right royally fought for and 
right worthily earned. In 1870 he was elected an 
Associate of the Royal Scottish Academy, advancing 
to full honours some seven years later, while the 
crowning point of a brilliant career came with his 



208 



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209 



election as President in succession to the late Sir 
William Fettes Douglas in 1891. At that time Sir 
George Reid was on the sunny side of fifty and by 
some six years the youngest President the Academy 
ever had. 

The present is neither the time nor the place, even 
had the writer the ability which he assuredly has not, 
for estimating Sir George Reid's position in the Art 
World. But one cannot help marvelling at his 
versatility no less than at his genius. One of the 
articles of his artistic creed is that a really capable 
and accomplished artist should be able to paint 
any subject, in proof of which he has in turn per- 
petuated on canvas portraits, historical pictures, 
landscapes, and flowers, with like unqualified success, 
while his black and white work stands unrivalled by 
that of any living pen draughtsman. Everybody 
knows the brilliant series of drawings illustrating 
"Johnny Gibb," while by the special permission of 
Mr. Reid we are enabled to reproduce three fine local 
subjects from a now rather scarce volume " Twelve 
Sketches of Scenery and Antiquities on the line of 
the Great North of Scotland Railway," the letter- 
press of which was supplied by Mr. William Ferguson 
of Kinmundy. It is as a portrait painter, however, 
that Sir George Reid is best known to the man in the 
street, among the works in this branch of his profession 
which have brought him no slight degree of fame 
being the finely characteristic likenesses of the late 
Sir John Millais painted at Kepplestone while the 
latter was visiting the north, Professor Robertson 
Smith, Thomas Edward the Naturalist, and of that 
genial "Waif of Rhyme, ' our fellow townsman, Mr. 
William Carnie, as well as the three fine specimens in 
the Town Hall — portraits of Sir Alexander Anderson, 
Mr. John Angus, and Ex-Provost George Thomson. 

" To Praise a Man's Selfe cannot be Decent, 
except it be in rare Cases,'' sayeth Bacon, and if this 
be so, then of a verity Sir George Reid is undoubtedly 
one of the exceptions. Personally he is a kindly hearted 
gentleman upon whom Fame lies lightly and who shuns 
publicity as other good people are supposed to avoid a 
person looked upon in these advanced times as either 
entirely mythical or at best in the sere and yellow leaf 
of a chequered career. All the greater, therefore, must 
bo our meed of gratitude for his courteously given 
permission to say something about him — however 
inadequately — in these pages, and for the characteristic 
sketch from his pencil " On Greenock Quay," which we 
are permitted to publish for the first time. In the early 



days of his career, when but a penniless laddie as well 
as in later years when the sacrifice entailed by doing 
so was not to be lightly reckoned, he has remained true 
to his native city, and Aberdeen appreciates the fact, 
as we are all proud of our townsman. In short, 
Goldsmith puts our sentiments in a nut-shell, and 
describes Sir George Reid, not only as if he had 
known him all his life but had even had the temerity 
to trouble him for an " interview," when he writes — 

His pencil was striking, resistless, and grand, 
His mannners were gentle, complying, and bland, 
Still born to improve us in every part 
His pencil our faces— his manners our heart. 

J. G. R. 



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qJJRj high as ever. The same may be said of our 
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varied assortment, as well as Brief Bags, Hold-alls, 
Rug Straps, and other requisites for travel. When 
you have selected your bag you may need a Brush and 
Comb to put into it, and we would remind you that 
we keep Brushes of many kinds. Hair, Hat, Tooth, 
and Nail Brushes at all prices. 

And while we provide for the wants of the railway 
and steamer traveller, we do not neglect the ubiqui- 
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Cycle Baskets, for taking back the latest novel — say 
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When you have provided yourself with the neces- 
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can have such a choice now of first-class novels at 
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211 



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Price One Penny 




IN THE FIFTIES. 

$«* 
N the early fifties there 
was considerable activity 
in acquiring and teach- 
ing Phonography in 
Aberdeen. One who 
took a prominent part 
ff^' N -=^ 1 in both was a young man 
iH S^.^a gliai, William Duncan, then 
attending the Grammar 
School preparatory to entering the University. 
Along with Professor Cooper, of Madras, 
he studied and got lessons from Mr. Francis 
Cooper, grocer, Chapel Street, a brother of 
the Professor. Mr. Duncan was a frequent 
visitor at the shop, comparing progress with 
Mr. Charles Cooper, who was then an assistant 
to his brother. The late Dr. Wm. Alexander 
went there for a similar purpose, as also Dr. 
Robert Laws, M.D., the distinguished African 
missionary. Of these four pupils one became 
the sub-editor of an influential North of 
England newspaper ; two were* honoured by 
the University of Aberdeen with the degree 
of LL.D., and the fourth with that of Doctor 
of Divinity. 

Mr. Duncan was a persistent student of 
the art, and was soon known as an expert and 
beautiful writer. He attended the ministry 
of the Rev. James Stirling, George Street 
United Presbyterian Church, and practised 
verbatim reporting by taking down his 
sermons. Not satisfied with acquiring the 
art for himself, he at once set to the 
work of teaching others, and soon had 
a class which met in the early morning in 



one of the rooms connected with the Central 
Academy in Union Street. While attending 
the University he taught several classes in his 
spare time with considerable success, for he 
was an enthusiastic aud capable teacher, and 
not a few of his pupils have found that their 
knowledge of the art has served them well 
in the position in life which as professional and 
business men they occupy. He became a 
member of the Phonetic Society, and the 
Phonetic Journal, from 1864 onwards, con- 
tained many communications from his pen, 
Mr. Pitman specially commending him for 
his zeal and success as a teacher. 

On leaving the University he went to Peter- 
head and began reporting on the Peterhead 
Advertiser, a small weekly which had but a 
short existence, but here he was in company 
with his old friend and fellow worker in 
phonography, Mr. A. M. Mowat, who at that 
time was on the staff of the Peterhead 
Sentine/. Leaving Peterhead he went to 
Stockton-on-Tees, then to the Nezvcastle 
Daily Express, passing on to the Newcastle 
Daily Chronicle, and here for thirty-three 
years he laboured, respected for his capacity, 
diligence, and service. In 1891 Mr. Duncan 
resigned his active connection with that 
paper, and in connection with the event 
a presentation was made to him by the 
staff of the Chronicle. Mr. Joseph Cowen 
presided on the occasion, and alluded to Mr. 
Duncan's entering the office thirty-three years 
before, to the conscientious manner in which 
he discharged his duties, escaping many 
snares which beset a sub-editor who had to be 
at his post from eve till morn and had little 
to relieve the monotony of the press-room. 



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215 



He had sub-edited the paper for thirty years 
and was held in the highest esteem and 
respect by the whole staff. Mr. Duncan was 
elected the first President of the Institute of 
Journalists for the Northern Centre, and he 
is a Fellow of the Institute. 

He visited Aberdeen, representing the New- 
castle Daily Chronicle at the University 
celebrations, some two years ago, and he still 
continues to do extra and special work for his 
old paper. Meantime he holds the appoint- 
ment of Official Reporter for the Newcastle 
Corporation which, however, leaves him time 
for other work as he finds inclination and 
opportunity. Mr. Duncan has many old 
friends here (the writer being one) who are 
pleased to know that he is "still hale and 
hearty." 

I was making enquiry at an old friend, 
one of our City Magistrates, if he remembered 
any of those who in the early fifties were 
studying the art along with him when he 
began. He mentioned several, and as he 
named them one after another, he said 
" he is dead"; then he spoke of Mr. Duncan, 
familiarly styling him "Willie," and he be- 
lieved he was also dead some years ago. 
" Oh, no," I said, " for I have a letter from 
him this morning," which I took from my 
pocket and read, at which he was greatly 
pleased- — for he had very pleasant re- 
membrances of him, not only as an old 
acquaintance, but as a friend of his brother 
who learned Phonography along with Mr. 
Duncan, but who died many years ago. 

Mr. A. M. Mowat was very intimate with 
Mr. Duncan — they studied and taught Phon- 
ography together. I used to correct Mr. 
Mowat's exercises and had with him many i 
phonographic talks and suggestions. He 
soon acquired a thorough knowledge of the 
art, and became a very excellent teacher. 
He had made up his mind to follow literature 
as a profession, and began as Editor of the 
Northern Telegraphic News, which was pub- 
lished by W. Bennet, printer, Castle Street, 
and was the first daily newspaper in Aber- 
deen. As a newspaper it was poor, scrappy, 
and amateurish. The Editor had to do the 
leaders, sub-editing, and reporting; in this 
he was assisted by a number of young 



friends who had a taste for literature. 
Among those who contributed stories 
reviews, and paragraphs, was " Wild Rose," 
Mr. John Fullerton, then of Woodside. 
He occupied the Poet's Corner, and con- 
tributed a series of papers headed "Stray 
Thoughts," "The Poets of the Granite City," 
" The Poets of America," Reviews of Books 
and Magazines, and Answers to Correspond- 
ents, most of which were fictitious. Mr. 
W. R. Moir, author of "Timothy Twig," was 
also one of the contributors. Mr. Alex. 
Troup, paper merchant, also of Woodside, 
was one of Mr. Mowat's intimate friends 
and gave him valuable assistance in the 
Telegraph. Robert Kempt (afterwards en- 
gaged in London as a literary man, and 
author of "Pencil and Palette," "Bio- 
graphical Anecdotes of Contemporary 
Painters," 1881, and "Convivial Caledonia") 
and others all gave their services free, 
amply rewarded in seeing their literary 
productions in print. While in Aberdeen 
Mr. Mowat taught a number of classes, and 
along with Mr. W. Duncan was very active 
and energetic. Mr. Pitman was so pleased 
with Messrs. Duncan, Mowat, and the writer, 
that he specially referred in the Phonetic 
Journal to the valuable work they were doing 
in the advancement of Phonography, for by 
their exertions the list of the Phonetic 
Society was very considerably increased from 
Aberdeen. Mr. Mowat left Aberdeen for 
Peterhead to the Sentinel, which has been a 
starting point in reporting and editorial work 
for not a few Aberdonians who have taken a 
high place in connection with newspaper 
work, and it is to be hoped it may continue so 
to be. Mr. Mowat soon left to join the staff 
of the Caledonian Mercury in Edinburgh; 
from that he went to the Glasgow Herald, 
where he rose to the position of chief 
reporter, then to the Newcastle Daily 
Chronicle, and afterwards to a Liverpool 
paper, where he died in 1869, in the thirty- 
first year of his age. He was genial and 
kindly, and as a note-taker, for swiftness and 
accuracy, he has been rarely excelled. He 
was greatly esteemed by his contemporaries, 
and his early death was deeply regretted by 
his many friends. 



2l6 



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217 



Of the Phonographic Circle in the early 
fifties, Mr. Alex. Troup, wholesale stationer, 
was an active member. Residing at 
Woodside, in close friendship with Mr. 
Duncan and Mr. Mowat, and practising 
shorthand with them, he soon acquired con- 
siderable facility in writing, and was afterwards 
an inspiring and energetic teacher. At Wood- 
side he formed classes which were well 
attended, several of his pupils joining the 
Phonetic Society, they in their turn teaching 
the art as they had opportunity. Among his 
pupils was Mr. Fullerton ("Wild Rose"), 
several others who now hold important posi- 
tions in the Foreign Mission field, and his 
own brother, James, who after leaving the 
University entered the Civil Service and has 
retired only a few months ago after being nearly 
thirty-five years in Consular appointments, 
being for a considerable time Consul General 
at Yokohama, Japan. He found Phono- 
graphy of great value to him in his public 
duties. Mr. Troup is still interested in 
Phonography, although he does not take 
any public part in its advancement. 

One of Mr. Duncan's associates in learn- 
ing Phonography was Mr. John S. Stuart, 
accountant and treasurer, Great North of 
Scotland Railway. He was a member of a 
Mutual Improvement Association from which 
a few young men began the study of Short- 
hand. They had no teacher but taught each 
other by means of the Instructor and Manual. 
In this association and class Mr. W. Duncan 
was a member and one of the enthusiasts 
who ultimately became a professional. Mr. 
Stuart has always been interested in the pro- 
gress of Phonography, and although never 
teaching any classes, he frequently examined 
the papers of learners, and gave occasional 
lectures to railway employees on the subject. 
He has presided over and taken part in many 
meetings during the past thirty years in 
encouraging those who were actively engaged 
in teaching and learning. His presence has 
always been welcomed, for he is a ready 
and humorous speaker, of great business 
capacity and mental culture. I believe he 
still writes the 9th edition, for he was vigor- 
ously opposed to the alteration in the vowel 
scale at the time when it was being discussed. 




Like all old phonographers, he is a great 
admirer of Mr. Thomas Allen Reed, who was 
for many years the accomplished editor of the 
Reporter, and whose skill, speed, and style in 
writing Phonetic Shorthand, places him in the 
position of being the Grand Old Man of the 
Phonographic Reform. 

A. S. C. 

MARK YOU ! 

pHAT a boom there was in Brown's Book- 
\ Stall with last month's number. The 
demand for the Strand and Pearson's was 
in the cold shade compared to the feverish 
anxiety with which the wise rushed to secure a copy 
of our Sir George Reid number ere it was too late. 
It was a tribute to the popularity of Aberdeen's only 
.artistic monthly and of the subject of our interview. 
If you have not seen it send for a copy, i£d per post. 

With this number we complete our fourth volume, 
and in a few days will have the title and index ready, 
price as usual one penny. We are prepared to bind 
our subscribers' volumes in tasteful binding at cheap 
prices. And the volumes of Brown's Bookstall are a 
good investment. Copies of the first three volumes 
have sold as high as 12/- at auction sales, so it pays to 
bind your sets. 

How the fashion of this world passeth away, to be 
sure. Time was, and not so long ago either, when 
we were selling Railway Novels, the time-honoured 
yellow-backs, by the ton, but they faded away and the 
six-shilling volume arose in their stead. There are 
signs that seem to indicate that it also has reached its 
high-water mark. At anyrate we seem to have swung 
for the present from the six-shilling to the sixpence 
volume. And now you can buy the works of the 
present day masters of fiction, in handy size for the 
railway, the country, or the seaside, at 6d each. 

Treasure Island by R. L. Stevenson. 

King Solomon's Mines by Rider Haggard. 

Frozen Pirate by Clark Russell. 

Sailor's Sweetheart Do., Do. 

The Courtship of Morrice Buckler by A. W. Mason. 

This is a splendid story of adventure, though the 
author is not yet well known --not so well as he 
should be, in fact. 




MR. FRANK CRAIG. 



Brown's Book-Stall. 



219 




No. 12.— MR. FRANK CRAIG. 




^yg^^ - ^ ^j^ql HE year 1874 is not yet 
( Q^ ^T ^. ' ^-Qj ) sufficiently remote to require 
the aid of the Historian in 
recalling the fact that it was 
a time of no slight noise in 
the world. At home, as the 
writer of the customary 
resume of events which graces 
the "dailies" on or about the 
31st December annually, would put it, the year was 
a memorable one. Parliament had actually been 
summoned for 5th February, when suddenly, on 23rd 
January, Mr. Gladstone decided to appeal to the 
country. In a few days the Liberal majority was 
gone, and Disraeli came into power with a majority 
of about 50. He signalised the event by describing 
his then colleague and future successor, Lord Salis- 
bury, as "a great master of jibes and flouts and 
jeers." The late Mr. Plimsoll, not to be behindhand, 
in wrath at the defeat of his measure for protecting 
the lives of our mariners, made his famous denuncia- 
tion of the shipowner members of the House as 
villains who had sent brave men to death. In short, it 
was a period of recrimination, for Harcourt, who had 
been in the previous Liberal Ministry as Solicitor 
General, had " revolted " over His Grace of Canter- 
bury's " Regulation of Public Worship" Bill, which 
he defended in his customary play-to-the-gallery 
manner by arguments never too subtle, and jokes that 
were unmistakable in their meaning — an outbreak 
which gave Mr. Gladstone a fine opportunity of 
turning and rending him. Abroad things were equally 
unsettled. "A spirited foreign policy" was to be 
inaugurated, a new era was to begin, and the proud 
days of Elizabeth were to be restored. And then, to 
add to the general clamour came the infantile voice of 
Mr. Frank Craig, the tall young man with whom we 



have lately been holding communication. Mr. Craig 
came into the world at this stirring period, and it is 
only fair to assume that he signalised the event in the 
customary fashion of babies since the days of Cain 
and Abel. At this early period, however, he was not 
an active supporter of either political party, nor had 
he given serious thought to Art, but assures me that 
his time was fully occupied between sleeping and 
partaking of the customary bottle. 

It was near Abbeywood, in Kent, that he first 
made the acquaintance of mankind, and there those 
first years 

When sticks of peppermint possess'd 
A sceptre's power to sway the breast, 
And heaven was round us while we fed 
On rich ambrosial gingerbread 

were spent. When eight years of age, however, his 
parents decided to remove, and the children were 
taken away from the country to live in London town. 
The relative merits of a rustic and an urban life have 
often been discussed, and the poet as usual has a word 
to say on the matter — 

Give me, indulgent gods ! with mind serene, 
And guiltless heart, to range the sylvan scene, 
No splendid poverty, no smiling care, 
No well bred hate, or servile grandeur there. 

So says Young in his Love of Fame, and so also says 
Mr. Craig— Literature and Art being for once in 
happy agreement. 

" How we hated the prospect ! " he remarked, as he 
recalled those early days. " However, we eventually 
became resigned to our fate, and very soon settled 
down to enjoy our lives in our little way amidst our 
new surroundings." 

Well, shortly after the arrival in town, the House- 
hold went into Committee on the Education Question, 
the subject of debate being the important point as 



220 



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221 



to which school should be honoured by being 
privileged to impart the first rudiments of instruction 
to the young hopeful who might, it was felt, still be a 
credit to his family. The choice fell on an educational 
establishment in the neighbourhood, the name of 
which has not been handed down to posterity, but 
after attending there for a short time Craig was sent 
off with that best of all legacies, a mother's blessing, 
and the perhaps more appreciated tips of kindly 
uncles and elder brothers to a private boarding school 
on the east coast. And thus early did Knowledge 
and Fame come to him, though they were hardly of 
such a nature as to meet the approval of a cold and 
unsympathetic world. By way of the former he 
learnt how to avoid premature death on the Rugby 
football field, while he attained the latter by earning 
the distinction of being the only boy publicly caned dur- 
ing the time he was at school. In such like occupations 
and experiences did the happy days of youth pass 
away, yet not altogether without indication that the 
child was to be father to the man. The deplorable 
inclination to indulge in drawing and similar wicked 
tastes even now began to exhibit itself, and many a 
Sunday afternoon, he tells me, did he spend while the 
rest of the school were enduring agonies over their 
home letters, in secretly copying the illustrations in 
that faithful and well loved friend of our youth, the ever 
welcome Boy's Own Paper. Occasionally, being ever 
an impressionable young man, he varied the proceed- 
ings by endeavouring to portray the profile view of 
the adorable girl who sat in the pew nearest his end 
of the line of well washed and wide collared boys who 
sat each Sunday in church under the ever wakeful 
eye of the Head Master. Comment is needless ; it 
is the story of Mr. Craig's First Love, and therefore 
sacred, but should these lines meet the eye of the 
aforesaid adorable girl, I trust she will learn the 
identity of her first admirer in a chastened and a 
contrite spirit ! 

Bathing in the summer mornings, brightened by 
the prospect of hot rolls at the pastry-cook's on the 
way back, with occasional hampers from home, 
relieved the monotony of existence, and then at the 
mature age of twelve, Master Craig said farewell to 
the school, and after, as he puts it, scrambling dis- 
gracefully through his viva voce exam, with Dr. 
Baker, was entered on the list of scholars at the 
Merchant Tailors' School in Charterhouse Square, 
and took as his watchword the famous motto of the 
institution — Homo plantat, homo irrigat, sed Dens dat 



incrementum. There life became more exciting, the 
horizon widened, and like the "three shilling villain 
who would" immortalized in "The Circus Girl "jingle, 
his dormant genius for doing the wrong thing at the 
wrong time in the wrong place brought him into the 
usual amount of trouble with the masters. The 
great fire in Clerkenwell occurred about this time— he 
emphatically assures me however, that he was in no 
way responsible for this ! — and although the school 
was threatened, it was written that it should be 
spared, and his dreams of the heavenly holidays 
resulting from the destruction of the building were 
rudely shattered by the efforts of a prosaic and 
inconsiderate Fire Brigade. 

On leaving school, mainly at the instigation of the 
famous Newlyn painter, Mr. Walter Langley, young 
Craig entered the establishment of Messrs. Maclure 
& Coy., lithographers to the Queen, thus following 
the example of many famous artists, including Sir 
George Reid, and our other townsman of whom we 
all expect so much, Mr. Robert Brough, by beginning 
his artistic career by learning this particular branch of 
his profession. 

The point as to whether this was an advisable 
course to pursue seemed an interesting one, and I 
sought further enlightenment. 

" Well," answered my host, " the idea in my case 
was that I should get a thorough grounding in the 
lithographic branch of Art, and thus have some solid 
basis upon which to start my career. But I would 
not recommend," he continued, "such a course to 
every beginner, though I think it was the right one 
for me, as I got many excellent tips there which have 
been of the greatest help to me since." 

From morn to afternoon — 
From afternoon to night — 
From seven o'clock to two — 
From two to eventide — 

were the somewhat exacting hours which Wilfred 
Shadbolt, Head Jailor and Assistant Tormentor 
requested Colonel Fairfax to devote to the care of 
"little Phoebe," but they weren't a whit more 
rigorous than those which Frank Craig imposed upon 
himself about this time. At Maclure's he worked from 
nine o'clock in the morning until six at night, and 
then spent the evenings studying from the Antique at 
South Kensington. As time went on he left the 
Antique for the Life, and joined Mr. Cook's class in 
Fitzroy Street, working three nights a week, and 
spending the remainder upon work for the Lambeth 



** 





"ROTTEN ROW." 
From an unpublished drawing by Mr. Frank Craig. 



Brown's Book-Stall. 



22^ 



Sketch Club of which he was a member. Of those 
evenings in Fitzroy Street he has the happiest of 
recollections. Mr. Solomon J. Solomon, who was 
then, of course, an outsider, visited the class two or 
three times a week and criticised the pupils' work. 
"And a capital master he was," added Mr. Craig, 
"and as popular amongst the students then as he is 
now at the Royal Academy Schools." 

The Lambeth Sketching Club, however, offered 
more in the way of excitement. The members met 
once a month when subjects were set and marks 
awarded on the merits of the different sketches 
submitted. Artists of note used to come down and 
criticise and mark the work, and to the advantages 
in the way of instruction in technique and composition 
to be obtained from such a system, Mr. Craig pays no 
unhesitating tribute. There was a Junior Club of 
which he was a member before entering the senior, 
and there he enjoyed the distinction of breaking the 
record in point of marks during the time he was in 
it — scoring the full total for his figure sketches and 
only falling one short of the maximum for landscape. 
In the Senior Section he was no less successful, taking 
first prize during his first term. 

It was during these years in the city that Mr. 
Craig took his first trip abroad — a journey that almost 
deprived us of one of our most promising artists, and 
nearly obviated the necessity of these notes being 
written. In company of a right good friend he started 
for Italy, and there under the clear Italian skies he 
first began to appreciate the beauty of colour. 
Venice, Milan, and the Lakes, were in turn visited, 
and it was while on the homeward journey that the 
disagreeable experience which, as he puts it, nearly 
put an end to his unfortunate existence, occurred. 
Let me tell the story in his own modest and unassum- 
ing words. 

" It happened on the Lake of Lucerne," said my 
victim, when I insisted on knowing all about it, 
" and it was all the fault of these risky little canoes, 
you know. I was out with a friend about a quarter of a 
mile from shore when over went my canoe and all 
that therein was. My friend, who was a few yards 
ahead of me, heard and saw nothing of the tragedy 
that was taking place. Under I went —and as the 
water surged around and closed over me, my cries for 
help were smothered, and the violent performance I 
indulged in, by way of kicking, was unheard ! The 
fact is, as you can see for yourself, I am over six feet 
in height, and most of it is in my legs ; these were 



securely tucked away in the recesses of the canoe, 
and it was not until I thought my last moment had 
come, and I had taken a silent and loving farewell of 
all kind friends, that I managed to extricate them and 
sailed up to life and freedom. As soon as I had got 
rid of most of the water that was choking me," 
continued Mr. Craig, laughing at the recollection, " I 
called my friend's attention to what was going on, and 
when he turned and saw my plight he hastened to 
assist me. I was naturally annoyed at getting so damp, 
and indignant with the people at my hotel — all the 
old ladies, don't-you-know, were sitting outside for 
their afternoon airing, and there sternly regarded me 
with undisguised expressions of horror and outraged 
propriety, as I dragged my soaking limbs up the stairs 
of the building. A hot bath, however, and some- 
thing equally warm inside, soon pulled me round, and 
a week later I was back in London hard at work." 

A year after this little incident Mr. Craig's health 
broke down. The doctors talked of overstrain, and 
he was advised to give up his City work. This he 
had already decided to do, so after an absence from 
home during the following winter he returned in the 
early part of the year to try his fortune as a black and 
white artist. Armed with a few drawings which he 
had done during his absence, he proceeded to storm 
the various newspaper and magazine offices for 
admission within their shining portals as one of the 
number of the elect. Ever ready to appreciate a 
good thing when it came their way, be its originator 
famous or otherwise, Messrs. Cassell & Coy. were 
the first, to their credit be it said, to lend a hand to 
the struggling artist, giving him some work to do for 
their various publications, a connection which Mr. 
Craig has ever since continued to keep up, as the 
capital pen and ink illustration accompanying these 
notes, and for the right to reproduce which we are 
indebted to the firm, will bear witness. The drawing 
is illustrative of a highly exciting little story, "An 
Adventure by Express," which appeared in a recent 
volume of that finely illustrated monthly, CasseWs 
Family Magazine — a publication which ought to be 
in the possession of every well regulated house- 
hold. Did space, permit I might enlarge for pages on 
the merits of CasseWs, but the publishers must 
take the will for the deed, while at the same time 
accepting the thanks of self and partner — to wit, the 
Editor — for so kindly placing the illustration at our 
disposal. Gradually Mr. Craig's black and white 
connection increased, commissions for the English 



224 



Brown's Book-Stall. 




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225 




It was a strange place for a duel* 

By permission of Messrs. Cassell &> Co., Limited. 



Illustrated Magazine, the Sketch, and other well- 
known publications falling to his share as his clever 
and original pen-and-ink and brush work became 
more widely known and appreciated. 

" It was such a delicious excitement," he remarked, 
" but always rather a shock too, to see my drawings 
actually printed and bound within the sacred covers 
of a magazine. On one occasion, I remember, I sat 
next to a man in the train who actually had a magazine 
with a story in it illustrated by ME. It was my first 
venture, and I scarcely noticed how faint and horrified 
he looked, when he came to my drawings, in my 
excitement to explain how much they had suffered 
in the reproduction ! " 

Thackeray once said that the pleasure of the novelty 
of seeing one's work in print very quickly passed off, 



but however this may be with the hapless author, 
Mr. Craig thinks it does not apply to the brush and 
pen artist. 

" At anyrate," he continued, " I know at least one 
artist who is always as anxious to see his work in 
print as ever he was, and can't get through his break- 
fast at all until he has thoroughly exhausted the 
contents of a certain weekly illustrated newspaper of a 
Friday morning ! " 

Whereupon I assured him in my most fascinating 
manner that any illustrations he might entrust to my 
care would certainly leceive immortality in the pages 
of the Book-Stall. He rose nobly to the occasion, 
and like the kindly hearted soul that he is, placed in 
my hands the magnificent piece of wash work 
illustrative of one of those phases of London life 



2 20 



Brown's Book -Stall. 



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AND RESTAURANT, 

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ABERDEEN. 



Tourists. Commercial Gentlemen, and Residenters 
will find this the best appointed Restaurant in Town 
in which to Lunch, Dine, take Tea or Supper. 
Largest Public Dining Hall in Town. Ladies' 
Private Dining Room. 

Magnificent separate Suites of Rooms for Dinners, 

Marriages, Assemblies, etc. 

Wines and Liquors of the Finest Quality. 

JOHN B. MOLLISON, Proprietor. 



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ABERDEEN AWA' 

Sketches of its Men, Manners, and Customs. 

By GEORGE WALKER. 

With Portraits and Jlhistrations. 



The volume contains nearly double the matter which 
appeared in Brown's Book-Stall." 

Aberdeen: A. BROWN &* CO. 

Edinburgh: JOHN MENZIES &* CO., 

and all Booksellers. 



^rown's Book-Stall. 



227 



which he can portray so well, and which is published 
for the first time in our pages. 

While anxious to do as much black and white as 
possible, Mr. Craig still wished to keep up his colour 
work, and so the winter of '94 found him studying 
with his customary zeal for admission to the Royal 
Academy Schools. He was admitted on probation in 
the following January, and about the same period 
Fortune still further smiled upon him by placing in 
his hands a little commission for the proprietors of 
the Graphic. They wanted some drawings of the 
Skating at Niagara Hall, which had just then begun 
— and which I may incidentally relate was the origin 
of one of the late Sir Frank Lockwood's happiest 
witticisms — the genial lawyer on being met at Niagara 
and asked what he wanted there as he wasn't skating, 
promptly replying that he "came to see the Falls ! " 
Mr. Craig was delegated to undertake the duty of pro- 
viding them, and the connection thus begun with the 
Graphic has grown rapidly, for now scarcely a number 
appears without some picture from his clever pencil. 
Of Mr. W. L. Thomas, Mr. Craig speaks in terms of 
the greatest enthusiasm, as indeed does every artist 
who has ever had any association with the genial 
gentleman who has done so much for black and white 
art in this country. 

Meanwhile Mr. Craig had got through his proba- 
tion at the R.A. Schools, and in February, "95, 
entered the Schools as a student, and received his 
"bone." A couple of months later having sent up a 
little picture in water colour to the Academy, he was 
the happy recipient of the magic piece of pasteboard 
so well known to the exhibitor, inviting him to inspect 
his work on Varnishing Day. Thinking it might be 
of interest to know how it really felt to have one's 
work hung in the Academy for the first time, I asked 
Mr. Craig what his sensations really were. Where- 
upon he furnished me with the following interesting 
and graphic description of Varnishing Day as it 
appears to the novice — a description which I give 
verbatim : — 

" What breathless excitement was mine," he 
began in mock heroic tones, and with a merry twinkle, 
"as I mounted the broad staircase ! How calm 
and indifferent one endeavoured to appear ! I 
made my way through groups of men in painting 
jackets — under ladders high up on which clung the 
devoted artist who was " skied," reverently varnishing 
his adored production, and finally came to my own 
work. And where do you think it was?" 



At so ticklish a question I naturally hesitated, and 
so lost any opportunity of guessing correctly as I 
certainly ought to have done. 

"Why," he resumed, smiling, "on the line, and 
occupying the centre position ! This was too over- 
whelming. I felt embarassed and crept away. Yet 
how delightful it all was ! Here was So-and-So 
whose picture created such a furore the previous year, 
and talking to him in brotherly discourse stood the 
man everyone regarded as his bitter rival. It was all 
new to me and full of delight — the veteran R.A., 
and Keeper of the Schools, who nodded to me and 
asked, with a kindly twinkle, if I had discovered my 
little contribution ; the boon companion and insepar- 
able friend who had worked side by side with me two 
or three years back in the Life Class, and whom I 
had lost sight of were there, and we clapped each other 
on the back and congratulated ourselves, and felt happy 
and pleased as Punch." 

"The Private view came, and the doors opened on 
the following Monday to the public, and one's excite- 
ment at last cooled down, but not for long — before 
the exhibition was half over mysterious notices of my 
little work reached me from different papers, and 
following them came a bid from a private collector, 
my picture sold at Catalogue price, and I hastened to 
take a last and long farewell before it finally left the 
Exhibition to enter the collection of the purchaser." 

That was three years ago, and since then Mr Craig 
has continued his progress up the Pictorial Ladder. 
And so, not inaptly, may be said to end, for the 
present, the story of one of our youngest, as he is one 
of our most original and clever black and white 
artists. Fortune has come to him with both hands 
full, but he has wooed her zealously by that surest of 
all methods — honest hard work. As Dryden puts it 
" Fortune came smiling to my youth, and woo'd it," 

so let us also hope that the end of the tag may prove 
equally true — 

"And purpled greatness met my ripened years." 

J. G. R. 



For Good Scotch Stories ^^^^z 

Read CRAIG DAM &> ITS MINISTERS 
by George Walker. Price Sixpence. 

A. Brown <y Co., Publishers, Aberdeen, 



228 



Brown's Book-Stall. 



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MORE ABERDEEN WORTHIES: 

MOSTLY MUSICAL. 

No. V. 

*/* 

O. IV. of these "rambles" 
has aroused some interest 
in local musical circles, a 
fact which, I need not 
seek to deny, is gratifying 
to the editor of the Book- 
Stall as well as to myself. 
With the kind permission 
of my readers, and at the 
request of several friends, I purpose in this, 
and perhaps succeeding papers, to dip further 
into the annals of local musical history than 
it was my original intention to do. In order, 
therefore, the better to accomplish that pur- 
pose, I w r ould bespeak the kind indulgence of 
those who peruse these "little sermonettes," 
while I endeavour to make brief record of 
the rise and progress of music in Aberdeen 
from about the middle of the last century on- 
wards. 

The first organised society formed in Bon- 
Accord, of which I can find traces, flourished 
under the unpretentious name of the Musical 
Society, from 1744 to 1825. This body was 
an entirely instrumental one, its members, 
among whom was the justly celebrated Bishop 
Skinner, being composed of gentlemen of the 
first rank in the city and county. Mr. Ross, 
the then accomplished organist of St. Paul's 
Episcopal Chapel, was conductor, and the 
society rehearsed and gave fortnightly concerts 



in a hall owned by the members in Concert 
Court, Broad Street, the concerts beingattended 
regularly by "the beauty and fashion of the 
northern capital." The limited accommoda- 
tion of the hall, together with the extra room 
taken up by the ladies of the period, who 
wore enormous hoops in those days, the 
better to show off their dresses to advantage, 
caused the audiences to be "small and select." 
But they were none the less enthusiastic on 
that account, and it is on record, I believe, 
that on one or more occasions the ladies 
actually left their hoops at home in order to 
make room for additional listeners ! For the 
next five years little advance was made in 
the study or practice of high-class music, 
but from 1830 to 1850 a further impetus 
was given by the formation of the Haydn 
and Euterpean Societies, both of which 
were also instrumental combinations. The 
first named was quite an aristocratic body, 
Mr. R. H. Baker, a professional musician 
located in Bon-Accord, being the conductor 
or leader. The pity was that, in those 
days, there was no conductor wielding a 
baton, as we now know such an indispensable 
human being, and the result was what may be 
termed, more or less, " scratchy " playing on 
the part of the members of the Haydn Society. 
After undergoing a period of probation under 
Mr. Wm. Spark, a professional teacher of 
the violin, the Euterpean Society gradually 
merged into the ranks of the " swell " com- 
bination. Subscription concerts were then, 
for the first time, introduced in Aberdeen, a 
yearly subscription of a guinea guaranteeing 
three tickets for each concert during the 
seasons of the Haydn Society. The concerts 



230 Brown's Book-Stall. 



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231 



were given in the then County Rooms, now 
the Music Hall Buildings, generally in what 
is known to the present generation as the 
Square Room. 

During the period just referred to, St. 
Peter's Roman Catholic Chapel led the way 
in church choir work. Dr. Reid, the able 
organist of the chapel, evidently an enthusiast 
and a very fine player, gathered round him 
a number of capable instrumentalists who, 
together with the singers, completed a choir 
" unique in its way at that time in Scotland." 
On the occasion of the Highland Society's 
Show of 1834, a grand Musical Festival of 
nearly a week's duration was held in Aber- 
deen, Mr. James Davie, of St. Andrew's 
Episcopal Chapel, and a teacher of vocal 
music of considerable repute, being choir- 
master, while Mr. Lewis Crombie of Phesdo 
acted as secretary. Day and evening enter- 
tainments, consisting of concerts held in 
the Theatre Royal, Marischal Street, and 
"oratorios" in St. Andrew's Chapel, King 
Street, alternated, and the series was con- 
cluded with a performance of Handel's 
" Messiah " on Friday, the last day of the 
Festival. This was, I understand, the first 
authenticated performance of this sublime 
oratorio heard in Aberdeen. The chorus and 
band numbered in all about 120 performers — 
70 choristers and 50 instrumentalists, 20 of 
the former and 1 2 of the latter being Aber- 
donians. These were "supplemented by 
singers and players of eminence from all 
parts of the kingdom." Such enterprise 
might be profitably emulated by our present- 
day local organisations ! But this did not 
exhaust the enterprise of the citizens away 
back in the early thirties, for among the 
solo vocalists, specially engaged for the 
Festival, we find such names as :— Madame 
Stockhaiisen, soprano ; Mr, K. Hawkins, 
tenor; and Mr. Henry Phillips, bass. Mr. 
E. Cooke, from London, was the leader of 
the orchestra ; Mr. Baker, organist ; and, 
as I have already stated, Mr. James Davie 
was choir-master. The Festival of '34 was an 
eye-opener to Bonaccordeans, and proved 
both a musical and financial success. 

It is worthy of note, in passing, that the 
word "oratorio," as applied in those days, 



did not necessarily imply the performance of 
a complete work. On the contrary, the 
renditions of excerpts from the works of the 
great masters were regularly designated 
oratorios, but, let it be freely admitted, the 
selections then made were admirable from an 
educative point of view, and they certainly 
compare favourably with the " tit-bits " served 
up at modern concerts. It must have been 
somewhere about the beginning of the thirties 
that male glee and part-song clubs became 
local institutions. Mr. John H. Stephen, 
engraver, father of the present owner of the 
name, and Mr. Joseph Dundas, or " old Joe," 
as I used to know him by, have told me over 
and over again about one of these clubs, the 
members of which were wont to meet once 
a week in a small hostelry or public-house in 
the Guestrow, and there rehearse. The room 
was of the barest and most primitive 
character possible. The walls were yellow- 
ochred, the floor was sanded, and capacious 
wooden spitoons were provided. The furni- 
ture consisted of a long deal table placed in 
the centre of the room, the sitting accommoda- 
tion being restricted to rough forms placed 
down either side and at the ends of the table. 
Each member had his own appointed place 
at the table and sat opposite a drawer 
containing a long " churchwarden " clay pipe, 
a supply of tobacco, and a box of the old- 
fashioned "brimstone" matches. The place 
was but dimly lighted by a couple of oil- 
lamps, and there the representatives of a 
bygone generation of singing celebrities were 
wont to practise their glees, rounds, and 
catches. Little wonder that many of them 
needed frequent lubrications for, what with 
the lowness of the roof, the fumes off coarse 
tobacco, and the oil used in the lamps, not 
to speak of the stifling odour of the " brim- 
steene," the surprise is that they were able to 
use or exercise their voices either in speech 
or song. That they did so, however, and to 
good purpose, too, was abundantly manifested 
by the successful appearances several of them 
made at public gatherings of a convivial kind. 
The members of the club I have written 
about were in the fullest and broadest sense 
of the word "Jolly good fellows," and of that 
fact they themselves were thoroughly con- 



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MUSIC BOOKS, 

MAGAZINES, 

And Books of all /s~^\/' 

Kinds Bound /^p/ % 

At Lowest / ^y/ 

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233 



versant. But these were " the good old 
times " when men were men and not 
pygmies ! 

Joseph Dundas, to whom I have referred, 
was a most versatile individual, and a droll 
old chap. A weaver to trade, " Joe " early 
saw that it would be to his interest to discard 
the loom for employment of a less precarious 
character, and so, when quite a young man, 
early in the forties, we find him in the 
employ of the firm of Messrs. Taylor & 
Brown, who carried on a cross-bred kind of 
business, consisting of book publishing, 
lithographing, and musical instrument deal- 
ing. Here he was a sort of nondescript 
employee, sweeping out the shop, going 
messages, and doing a bit of lithographic 
printing, or writing. He was a keen, in- 
telligent, little fellow, was intensely musical, 
had studied harmony, and, being endowed 
with a serviceable bass voice, could take his 
place in the latern on a Sunday. Poor " old 
Joe," left a veritable monument to his 
musical capabilities, as well as to his skill as a 
lithographer, in the shape of a church tune 
book, the whole of which he lithographed and 
printed at an ordinary hand-press. A copy of 
the work, which I bought from him after he 
had " fallen upon evil days," lies before me as 
I write. The book bears the title of " The 
Newhills Free Church Psalmody," the im- 
print being : — " Aberdeen, Printed and Pub- 
lished by Taylor & Brown, 1845." It 
contains 102 tunes, besides the inevitable 
" examples " and " exercises " at the beginn- 
ing, without which no "psalmody' in those 
days was thought to be complete. The 
whole of these 102 tunes were carefully 
edited, revised, corrected, and brought up 
to date by Mr. Dundas, and yet, oh ! the 
irony of fate, he died in a poorhouse, and 
narrowly escaped burial in a pauper's grave ! 
Fortunately, he retained all his pawkiness of 
manner to the end, and many a merry tale 
has he regaled me with in his later days with 
reference to the old-time precentor. Salaries 
were matters of little import in Joe's time, 
and it was no uncommon thing for a " duly 
inducted" precentor to arrange with a sub- 
stitute to sing for him on a Sunday in 
exchange for a " full fouV The " payment " 



was not generally left over to a " more con- 
venient season," but was promptly made at 
the end of the service. Forbes Mackenzie 
took no cognisance of drinking events in 
those days, and tracks could be readily made 
for the nearest " pub " as soon as the day's 
duties were over. Indeed, the precentor of 
the time, not infrequently left the latern 
immediately before the sermon, and, in com- 
pany with the " minister's man," in place of 
" sleeping through " the discourse, made 
himself thoroughly " comfortable " during the 
hour of its delivery in the nearest ale-shop, 
where "refreshment" was supplied on all 
seven days of the week " for man or beast." 
Joe, on one occasion, contracted to sing for 
six months at Old Machar Cathedral for a 
suit of " blacks " (Sunday clothes), but his 
own trustfulness, and the rather mean cunning 
of the man whom he was obliging, beguiled 
him. The salaried knight of the precentor's 
desk, sent him a cheap suit of " white 
ducks," dyed black, which, of course, Dundas 
could not wear on Sunday. He, however, 
kept the suit on the off-chance of being 
asked to sing en another Sunday at the 
Cathedral, when he purposed to don the 
workman's jacket and thus shame the donor. 
In his resolve Fortune favoured him, and his 
appearance in the grotesque costume proved 
a nine day's wonder, and, it is to be hoped, 
prevented the "jokist" fiom further practical 
joking. Frank Clements. 



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Study in Lead Pencil by Mr. J. Syddall. 



By permission of the Publiskets of The Sii dm 



Brown's Book- Stall. 



235 




No. 13.— MR. J. SYDDALL 




THOUGHT about the 
Argonauts and their search 
for the Golden Fleece, and 
it comforted me. I recalled 
the ships of Tarshish and the 
bold sea-traders of Phoenicia 
jg ^-^ / v *- ss i%| J w j 10 j, roU ght Solomon the 
gold and silver and apes 
and peacocks, and my resolve 
strengthened. Then there were those wild rovers, 
the Vikings, and, later, Marco Polo, who spent 
seventeen years in the service of the Khan of China, 
finding the duties almost as exacting as interviewing 
art-celebrities — and the thought nerved me to action. 
From these one travelled by easy steps to the unfor- 
tunate Robert Machin who drifted into the adventure 
business quite by accident, so to speak, and from him 
it was an easy transition to Prince Henry of Portugal, 
whose mother, by the way, was a daughter of our own 
" old John of Gaunt," and who — as those last at school 
may remember, in spite of the added perils of water 
sprites and monstrous genii, ocean serpents and fire- 
breathing demons, magnetic islands and whirlpools 
that sucked into their vortex straws and great ships 
with equal impartiality, not to mention the firm belief 
then prevalent that Satan like an octopus lay " round 
the corner " of every unknown land, ready to seize 
whatever came his way — did so much to make known 
the hidden places of the earth. At this stage I felt 
capable of most things, but even the recollection of 
Launcelot and the Holy Grail and Christian in his 
pilgrim's progress failed to give me the necessary 
assurance for the Perilous Quest which I meditated. 
Then I brought to mind Vasco de Garaa and Magellan, 
the Cabots, father and son, Frobisher and Drake, 
and as I did so I grew momentarily bolder in the 



interest of Book-Stall readers. Perhaps I ought to 
mention that I have always been of a wildly adventur- 
ous disposition since the days when at a most immature 
period of my career I got lost in the Victoria Park, 
but, as Stanley came out of " Darkest Africa," so did 
I evade the hands of Mr. Wyness and his myrmidons, 
and return triumphant to the bosom of a distracted 
family. The recollection of this little bit of autobio- 
graphy gave me courage, but it was not until I had 
brought the record right up to date, and had recalled 
the deeds of Lancaster, Barents, Hudson, Peary, 
Franklin, and many another, and finally in my mental 
summary reached the days of Jackson and Nansen, 
that I finally determined to go to Old Whittington. 

The 5*40 p.m. dining car train from St. Pancras 
reaches Chesterfield at 8*47, and the Midland are, of 
course, nothing if not punctual. To reach Old 
Whittington, however, is another matter. Mr. J. 
Syddall is not to be interviewed with impunity, and 
as I have no grudge against my brother scribes who 
have not yet succeeded in running the famous pencil 
draughtsman to earth, I decline to divulge the 
subsequent procedure. With ordinary luck and a 
little courage and perseverance, however, the thing 
can be done, as the following will bear witness. 

Mr. Syddall is not, as I have said, to be interviewed 
with impunity ; neither is he to be discussed in the 
ordinary frivolous manner common to these notes. 
To obtain, therefore, that absolute accuracy which is 
indispensable in chronicling so critical a situation as 
one's first meeting with the gentleman of whom 
Hetkomer — not without reason — spoke in terms so 
high that Mr. Syddall's excessive modesty will not 
permit of my repeating them, I have deemed it 
advisable to set forth verbatim the little dialogue 
in which we engaged. 



Brown's Book- Stall. 



237 



Scene : The historic village of Old Whittington. 

[Here, so 'tis said, the last Revolution was 

hatched. ] 

A Studio. 

Characters in the Play : 
Mr. J. Syddall, Artist, and Villain of the Piece. 
The Mere Interviewer. 
[Author's Note : The reader will please dispense 

with further preliminary explanatioji, and 

imagine that I have ascended the giddy flight 

of stairs leading to the Studio, and that the genial 

artist has, so to speak, taken me in.] 

The Mere Interviewer (mildly)— I believe I 
mentioned, Mr. Syddall, the object which has led 
to my having the privilege of meeting you here to-day. 

Mr. J. Syddall (somewhat ferociously) — Yes ; 
but I have never been in Scotland, and can't under- 
stand why I should be "wanted" there. I believe 
you have been enquiring for Mr. Syddall the artist, 
and they doubtless asked you ' was it 'im wot draws?' 

The M. I. — Precisely ; your deductions are 
refreshingly accurate. Following the point to its 
logical conclusion, I infer that you are the standing 
exception to the well-authenticated rule that a prophet 
has no honour in his own country. 

Mr. J. S. ( parrying the question) — I suppose you 
are going to " draw " me now. 

[Here, in lieu of the customary eillogiums of the 
Turkey Carpet, the Gerard Dows and Zoffanies, and 
the Louis XVI. furniture which grace all well 
regulated Studios (and interviews), I may briefly 
explain that I found myself i?i a room which seemed 
a sort of combination of a studio, workshop, and 
nursery, brightened by the presence of something 
under a dozen children — very mtich at home.] 

The M. I. (pleasantly, and thinking he could see 
a family likeness all round) — You have plenty of 
models ready at hand. Are they all yours ? 

Mr. J. S.— Oh yes, all mine. 

The M. I. (warming to his subject) — Is your 
wife also artistic ? 

Mr. J. S. — Wife ? I am not married. 

[/ was just wondering whether I shoutd continue 
the subject when ] 

Mr. J. S. — Oh, what did I say ? I ought to have 
explained. These are my nephews and nieces. 

The M. I. (trying a new tack) — You have some 
wonderfully designed furniture, Mr. Syddall. 



Mr. J. S.— Glad you like it. It has at 1 east the 
merit of being my own. 

[Here I mildly protested that I had never imagined 
it to be otherwise, whereupon Mr. Syddall was good 
enough to smile.] 

Mr. J. S. — I must really be more precise. Of 
course you know me only as a draughtsman, but I 
indulge in other vagaries. For instance, I am as 
proud of that seat as any drawing I ever made. As a 
piece of joinery, I mean — though I designed and made 
it entirely from the log. Those oak chairs and table, 
too, are my work. In fact I am a draughtsman, 
engraver, wood carver, and joiner by turns. I can': 
tell you what my trade is, but I am at present 
obtaining the necessary little bit of sugar for the 
bird, so to speak, chiefly by engraving. In addition, 
I sell a few landscapes, chiefly to artists — no one else 
will look at them. 

The M. I. — The public taste outside Scotland is 
indeed degenerate. But don't you exhibit ? 

Mr. J. S. — No, except at small local shows where 
there isn't much chance of their peculiar beauties 
being appreciated. 

The M. I. — We have a well-ventilated Fine Art 
Show Room in Aberdeen, patronised by the nobility, 
gentry, and clergy of all denominations. You, on the 
other hand, have enough here for a " one man " 
exhibition. The moral is obvious. 

Mr. J. S. — Save me from my friends ! I am 
making an " exhibition " of myself now I think. 
What more do you want ? . ( reminiscent ly ) 

I once had a picture in the Royal Academy — rather a 
big one — but a fellow came along and put a figure in 
it, and then put his name to it. A fact, sir ! And 
an R.A. too ! 

The M. I.— Rather cheeky. 

Mr. J. S. — Cheeky? Cheek enough for an 
interview — er — I mean very cheeky. But here are 
one or two cuttings which appeared at the time — one 
in a London paper ; the other in a Leeds " daily.*' 

[/ quote as accurately as I can remember. The 
London one said — 

" We don't think much of the Jigurc, but the background 
shows the work of the artist.'' 

Which in a sense was very true. Leeds was equally 
emphatic — 

" We don't think the figure is up to his usual work, but the 
background reminds us of the early Spanish Masters. ' 

Then I condoled with him.] 



238 



Brown's Book-Stall. 



44 



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■\V) 



The M. I. — Clearly another case of ' Man's 
inhumanity to man,' Mr. Syddall — of course you 
know the lines from our National Bard, whose works 
you have doubtless read and admired ? 

[/ did not give him. time to put in the counter stroke 
which I saw he meditated, but continued breathlessly — ] 

The M. I. — Why, it is even difficult in these days 
for a Dargai hero — no doubt you have heard of Piper 
Findlater and the gallant Gordons who were kissed 
into existence by an equally gallant Duchess (as the 
piper seems likely to be kissed out of it by what 
Chevalier would probably call a dear old ' Dutch') — 
to obtain even the barest justice. I have heard 
some people say that the Derbyshires did quite as 
much and made no fuss about it, but of course that, as 
dear old Euclid says, is absurd. 

{Then I remembered that Old Whittington was near 
Chesterfield, and that Chesterfield was in, Derbyshire, 
and I longed with a great yearning for home. Mr. 
Syddall said little, but looked a deal, while I hastened 
to change the topic. ,] 

The M. I. (pleasantly) — And now about youiself 
Mr. Syddall. What is your Apologia pro sua -vita ? 

[The tables were fairly turned now, and Mr. 
Syddall looke I positively desperate. Do you really 
insist ? he e>iquired. I replied that in the interests 
of Truth I had no alternative ; but I felt for the 
poor gentleman all the same. ] 

The M. I.— Is it then so bad? Have you done 
anything very wildly wicked that burdens your mind ? 
Confession you know, they say, is 

[Mr. Syddall smiled.] 

Mr. J. S. — No, it is not that which troubles me ; 
it is the thought of what I may be led into doing, and 
that very speedily, too, that worries me. After all 
(pensively) a considerate jury would look upon it as 
Manslaughter or Justifiable Homicide. 

[/ moved uneasily, but begged him to proceed. ] 

Mr. J. S. — Well, if you will have it, I suppose 
you must ; so here goes : — I commenced life as a 
pavement artist and mural decorator — but perhaps I 
should first say I was born — in the usual way — of rich 
but honest parents — the ' passing rich on forty pounds 
a year ' sort of richness. My father was a country 
joiner, but something more than an ordinary workman, 
as some of his productions which I can show you will 
prove. 



The M. I.— And your ancestors, Mr. Syddall? 
All artists have ancestors, you know. 

Mr. J. S. — Ancestors, did you say ? Well, as r;ire 
Ben Jonson puts it — 

I have no urns, no dusty monuments ; 

No broken images of ancestors, 

Wanting an ear or nose ; no forged tables 

Of long descents, to boast false honours from— 




\M> 



From a sketch by himself. 

but such as they were were mainly wood-cutters, 
farmers, cattle-dealers, and (in a less exacting age) 
cattle stealers. As I was saying, however, I com- 
menced work on the floor, knowing full well that I 
was a born genius — for had my good mother not said 
so ? Armed with a piece of chalk I decorated every- 
thing within reach. Like Nature, as scientists tell 
us, I abhorred a vacuum, and if ever I saw a tendency 



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241 



in the kitchen floor towards that state, I immediately 
made that " pitch " my own. 

In time I rose to the dignity of an erect biped, was 
sent to school, and received the best University 
education the village could afford. Ground and 
polished in fact at "the college down the road," I 
received the honour of Knighthood from the Rector of 
the Parish. And here let me explain in parenthesis 
that I really don't care a fig for Art — something with 
a possible Dukedom in it is what I want 

The M. I. (seizing the opportunity) — Ah, Mr. 
Syddall, you forget when you say so, the words of tlje 
Immortal Robbie — [And 1 repeated in my most impres- 
sive manner] — 

A prince can mak' a belted knight 

A marquis, duke, and a' that, 
But an honest man's aboon his might, 
Guid faith he manna fa' that ! 
For a' that, and a' that, 

Their dignities and a' that, 
The pith o' sense and pride o' worth 
Are higher rank than a' that. 

[ When I had concluded, Mr. Syddall fell four points 
in my estimation — he simply asked what it all meant. 
Thereafter the ordinary thread of the conversation was 
resumed.} 

Mr. J. S. — Well, as I was saying, my artistic 
career commenced as soon as my fingers could hold a 
piece of chalk. When four years old I was at the 
zenith of my fame. It has gradually faded since. I 
have done nothing like the wonderful things I did 
then. As I grew up in years a volume of Harpers' 
or Scribner s was the greatest treat you could give me. 

The M. I. — And you have been to Bushey ? 

Mr. J. S. — Yes, I have studied under Professor 
Herkomer, but it would be best not to mention the 
fact, as the ' Autocrat of all the Busheys ' has a great 
dislike to advertisement. 

The M. I. — I'll not mention it. 

Mr. J. S. — The head you noticed in the Studio, 
and which you tell me you are reproducing in — what 
do you call it ? — oh yes, thank you, Brown's Book- 
Stall, was done before I came under Professor 
Herkomer's notice, and is a fair example of what 
I could do then. 

[And here I may not inaptly refer to the high 
opinion which I know Professor Herkomer holds of 
Mr. Syddall 's work — an opinion to which the artist 
personally is by far too modest to refer. When Mr. 
Syddall first showed his sketch book to the Professor, 
the latter told him he had as good a collection as 



Menzel (his favourite German draughtsman ), and 
would soon have a better. 7 'hen came the famous 
declaration to which I have already referred, but 
which Mr. Syddall deleted from the proof sheet 0/ 
this commentary with the characteristic explanation 
that as even his own family had never heard of it, 
though it might do well enough for private circula- 
tion, he couldn't go through the world with a statement 
like that hanging about his neck. When I delicately 
referred to the matter in the course of our conversation, 
Mr. Syddall was as usual equal to the occasion. ] 

The M. I. — By the way, the Professor once spoke 
rather highly of your work, didn't he? Something 
about being of an exceptionally high degree of 
excellence, wasn't it ? 

[ This is a very much watered down form of what 
was said, but I had to consider the shyness of my 
victim.] 

Mr. J. S. — The Professor is a very knowing 
fellow — in fact he reminds me of yourself. [Here 
I bowed.] The only difference is that while he 
was content merely to say it, you would like to print 
it —and people might think I had threatened you it 
you didn't, you know. 

The M. I.— Well, we will let that pass. And 
now, as to the future, Mr. Syddall ? 

Mr. J. S. (with a far-away look) — 

O that a man might know 
The end of this day's business ere it came ! 
But it surhceth that the day will end, 
And then the end is known. 

(recovering himself). Oh, you needn't mention that I 
said that unless you want to break the solidity of the 
page. Well, I am settled here, and have to work out 
my own salvation. I intend to take some pupils, but 
I don't believe you can teach Art, though you can 
teach this sort of thing, which is really the A B C of 
the Grammar of Drawing. 

[Here Mr. Syddall took a piece of charcoal and a 
board, and commencing at the bottom edge made an 
outline of a horse, beginning at the heel of the fourth 
foot, going all round and coming back to the same 
point without taking the charcoal off the board or 
making any corrections. Result — a splendid silhouette, 
full of life.] 

The M. I. — In the words of Dominie Sampson, 
' Prodeegous !'.... And, as Whistler once 
remarked of Lord Leighton, ' You paint, too,' Mr. 
Syddall ? 

Mr. J. S. — No ; I am not a painter. 



242 



Brown's Book-Stall. 



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ABERDEEN AWA' 

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Brown's Book-Stall. 



243 



The M. I. (mentally surveying the walls) — But 
these things — paintings, I mean — some of them are 
yours ? 

Mr. J. S.- Yes — some of them. 

The M. I. (anxious to please, and seeing a 
unique opportunity ) — [Sotto voce] - Ah, here is a good 
bit ; I'll let myself loose on this. (Aloud) Now, I 
call that fine painting. 

Mr. J. S.— I think so, too. 

The M. I. — It's your work, of course. 

Mr. J. S.— No ; a fellow student's. 

The M. I. ! ! . . . (hopefully) 

This isn't bad. 

Mr. J. S. — Oh, I can paint worse than that, else 
I should never expect to get in the R.A. But what 
do you think of those drawings on the wall there ? 

The M. I. (very cautiously this time) — Well 
. . . . not bad, but rather slight. 

Mr. J. S. — You mean you can't see much in them ? 
Rather amateurish, eh ? 

The M. I. — Precisely. The work of some of 
your little nephews or nieces, I suppose. 

Mr. J. S. (quite pleasantly ) — Oh dear no, they 
are mine. 

Curtain. 



Tlw early morning mail brought into St. Pancras 
one passenger whose weird and haggard appear- 
ance attracted the notice of the police. In ansvjer 
to enquiries, he explained that he had just come 
from the Soudan, where he had been at the front 
representing an enterprising Scotch publication ; 
and that he had assisted the Camerons at Atbara, and 
had been thrown from his camel. He was allowed to 
proceed, but subsequent enquiry elicited the extraordin- 
ary fact that the train by which he had travelled was 
one whih had come from Chesterfield. 

J. G. R. 



For Good Scotch Stories ^^^^ft 

Read CRAIG DAM & ITS MINISTERS 
by George Walker. Price Sixpence. 

A. Brown 6° Co., Publishers, Aberdeen. 



THE BOOK OF THE MONTH 



!|AS been, and still is, Rui'ERI of HENTZAU. 
The demand for it has been belter than for 
any single book since "The Christian " at 
the end of last year. It is a sequel to " The 
Prisoner of Zenda," and is (me of the rare 

cases where the sequel is equal to the original book. 

Certainly Anthony Hope's reputation loses nothing by 

this latest effort. Cash price, as usual, 4/6 at Brown's 

Bookstall. 

As you are doubtless aware "The Dolly Dialogues" 
formed a big factor in making Anthony Hope's fame, 
and you will note that we have a dialogue all of our 
own in Brown 's Booh- Stall this month on Mr. J. 
Syddall. 

Amongst the illustrations to this article, we give a 
sketch of an old man's head. For the use of this 
block we are indebted to the kindness of the publishers 
of The Studio. 

It is not always that merit commands success in 
this mad world, but the career of The Studio is an 
example. In the short time since its commencement 
it has attained to the largest circulation in the world 
of any magazine devoted to the arts, and the early 
volumes are at a premium. 



THE FLOWING TIDE 

Of sixpenny reprints shows no sign as yet of having 
reached high water mark. The quality still keeps up, 
and the numbers are increasing. We have no space 
this month for a list of them. But you can't do 
better than call and see the lot at 83 Union Street. 



But the sixpenny reprints are not going to have it 
all their own way. We have begun to issue a series 
of Scots Classic Reprints at one penny each ! 
The first of the series is a selection from the poems of 
Robert Fergusson, including " The Farmer's Ingle" 
(the model of "The Cottar's Saturday Night"), 
" Cauler Oysters," " Auld Reekie," and all the best 
of this great poet's Scots poems. Judging by the sale 
of this first number, the series seems to be meeting 
a felt want, and the value is certainly good — 24 pages 
well printed on good paper, and only one penny. 

One curious coincidence in connection with this 
reprint of Fergusson's poems is that so far as we are 
aware no edition had been published for about 25 
years, and copies were getting scarce, when the idea of 
reprinting a selection occurred to the Messrs. Black- 
wood & Sons, who issued a 1/- pocket edition while 
our edition was in the press. 



-44 



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A. B^OWH & Co., Stationers & Dealers in Fancy Goods, 

83 UNION STREET, ABERDEEN. 




No. 50. 



October, 1898. 



Price One Penny 




IN THE FIFTIES. 

PHONOGRAPHIC REMINISCENCES. 

WO of the earliest and 
most active Phonetic 
Reformers after its in- 
troduction to Aberdeen 
were Mr. George Reid, 
of the firm of Messrs. 
Benjamin Reid & Co., 
seedsmen, at that time 
in Union Street, and 
Mr. James Meston, accountant. Both were 
young men then, and took to phonography 
and phonotypy with great zeal and spirit. 
The former was for years the Secretary of 
the Aberdeen Phonetic Society, and busily 
employed in teaching and forming classes for 
the teaching of Phonography. Mr. Meston 
also taught, but he was more desirous of 
introducing phonetic printing as an aid to 
children in learning to read. Along with 
Mr. Reid he initiated classes in the Denburn 
district, a most favourable locality for making- 
such an experiment, for at that time it was 
densely populated by a very poor population, 
where out of about 800 children, not more 
than 400 attended any school for acquiring 
the elements of education. A Mission 
Hall was occupied for the purpose, and a 
considerable number of children were 
gathered together who did not know a single 
letter of the alphabet, and although to keep 
order amidst such a motely group was no 
easy task, yet those gentlemen set to the 
work with such energy and determination, 



that in the course of a few months they were 
able to give a practical object lesson in the 
art of reading by their pupils, and that, too, 
with a certainty, precision, and correct pro- 
nunciation not possible in the time taught by 
the ordinary alphabet. The school was 
publicly examined, and favourably spoken of, 
by the late Sheriff Watson, Rev. J. C. 
Brown, LL.D., Councillor James Berry, 
Messrs. D. MacAllan, David Mitchell, and 
Thomas Skene, late Inspector of the Poor 
for Oldmachar, and the only one of the 
number now surviving. This was in 1853, 
and next year, when Mr. A. J. Ellis, the 
author of a " Plea for Phonetic Spelling," 
who spent a fortune in advancing the 
movement, came to Aberdeen, and was 
present at the next examination of the pupils, 
so impressed was he by the success of the 
experiment, that he wrote afterwards — "that 
he saw little mites scarcely able to come off 
their forms, walk up to the call of the 
teacher, and fight their way through unknown 
words by a mere knowledge of Phonetic 
letters, a feat which the wisest would find 
difficult to perform in the ordinary spelling." 
Mr. Reid procured a small font of phonetic 
types, and illustrated this system of printing 
in the Aberdeen Herald, space having been 
kindly placed at his disposal for this purpose 
by the proprietors of that paper. Since the 
death of Mr. Ellis and Sir Isaac Pitman, I 
do not think the Phonetic mode of printing 
is so enthusiastically promoted as it was 
when these gentlemen were alive. Both 
Mr. Reid and Mr. Meston were excellent writ- 
ers of phonography, and thoroughly under- 
stood the system, practically and theoretically, 



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247 



giving much of their time and labour to 
gratuitous efforts for its advancement. Mr. 
Reid had a very wide circle of friends, who 
greatly appreciated his humour, culture, and 
intelligence. 

Mr. David Symon was another of the 
early promoters who not only acquired a 
neat and rapid style of writing, but he was 
also highly gifted as a teacher. He had 
many classes who gave practical appreciation 
of his services by making him the recipient 
of several presentations. He was a law 
clerk in Aberdeen, but he left for Edinburgh, 
and, if I mistake not, he acted for some time as 
amanuensis to the late Rev. John Kirk, D.D., 
of that city, who was one of the founders of 
the Evangelical Union, a voluminous writer 
on religious questions, a keen controversialist, 
an ardent temperance reformer, and editor 
of the Christian News. Mr. Symon returned 
to Aberdeen in impaired health, and died in 
1 85 1. I knew him well and appreciated his 
friendship and personal worth. 

About the middle of the Fifties the name 
of Andrew Doak, pupil teacher, Cumnock, 
appears in the Phonetic Jourfial. He was 
then a youth, working with a will to master 
the art. At that time, as phonographers will 
remember, Mr. Pitman published gummed I 
paper wafers, diamond shaped, and with 
phonographic mottoes upon them. Mr. Doak 
took kindly to these, and every letter sent by 
him had one of these wafers affixed to it. At 
the Arts and Divinity Classes he found the 
value of phonography, and although from his 
caligraphy of to-day I fear he does not much 
use it, yet I am certain he will speak a good 
word in its favour. Although not an Aber- 
donian born, he is one by long residence, 
and as the respected minister of Free Trinity 
Church, we claim him, and with some pride, 
as being one of ourselves. 

The Phonetic Journal publishes these 
articles as they appear in the Book-Stall, 
and through this I have had several com- 
munications from Aberdonians of the olden 
time, one of the most interesting and pleas- 
ant being from Mr. Alexander Paterson, 
F.J. I., editor of the Barnsley Chronicle. He 
was born near Cuminestown, and went to 
serve his apprenticeship to a merchant in 



Turriff. Here he began the study of Phono- 
graphy, but abandoned it. Removing to 
Aberdeen, he bought in the New Market 
gallery a copy of "The Manual," making up 
his mind to master it. He had no teacher, 
but he applied himself in his spare time with 
diligence and perseverance, and he made his 
first attempt at reporting one Fast Day in the 
Parish Church of Nigg. Afterwards he took 
a sermon delivered by the late Rev. David 
Simpson in Free Trinity, Crown Street, on 
1 st January, 1854, the notes of which he keeps 
as a cherished possession. His attempt to 
follow Professor Blackie in the Mechanics' 
Hall proved rather unfortunate. He toiled 
on, however, at reporting, and practised as 
opportunity presented itself. After leaving 
the service of Messrs. George Lyall & Co., 
silk mercers, Union Street, in 1854, he went 
south, and, although in business, he ever 
kept before him the possibility of becoming 
a pressman. At Stirling he left the counter 
for the reporters' desk. He then went to 
Middlesborough ; then to West Hartlepool, 
afterwards to Stockton, always improving his 
position, and at last he was appointed editor of 
the Barnsley Chronicle in 1866, and by his 
business ability and literary power he has made 
it one of the most influential papers in the 
South West Riding of Yorkshire. Mr. Pater- 
son has all along interested himself greatly 
in Phonography. He has accumulated a very 
remarkable collection of about one hundred 
different systems of Shorthand, and during 
the past forty years he has contributed many 
valuable articles on its theory, history, and 
practice. His phonographic writing is very 
neat and the outline beautifully formed. 
He was a very valued correspondent 
of the late Sir Isaac Pitman, and gave 
him effective aid in contributing to his 
" History of Shorthand." He has a warm 
heart to Aberdeen and Aberdonians, and is 
delighted with the Book-Stall. "Johnnie 
Gibb " when it was published was read and re- 
read by him with great pleasure, and when any 
of his English friends brag of their ability to 
read broad Scotch, he hands them "Johnnie 
Gibb " as a Shibboleth, and asks them to 
read the first page. 

I append a recent communication from 



*48 



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249 



him which is very interesting, as it relates to 
an event in the early life of our late, highly 
respected, and much esteemed townsman, 
Dr. Wm. Alexander, and illustrates the un- 
conscious influence he exercised upon Mr. 
Paterson — 

"I have a vivid recollection of the circumstances under 
which I first saw William Alexander. It was in Inver- 
urie, during the summer of 1852, shortly before he 
entered the office of the North of Scotland Gazette. I 
was then a junior assistant in the shop of Mr. James 
Skinner, draper, grocer, and general dealer in the 
above named town. One of the regular customers, 
whom I got to know very well, was a Mrs. Alex- 
ander, a farmer's wife, who, I understood, resided 
somewhere in Chapel of Garioch direction. One day 
she arrived with her butter and eggs in a cart, which 
was driven by a young man, who I subsequently 
gathered, was her son, William. He was not in the 
shop more than a couple of minutes, being engaged 
the rest of the time in watching his horse outside. 
There were two things about him, however, which 
attracted my attention. I noticed, first, that he had 
lost a leg, and, second, I concluded that he must be 
studiously disposed, for I saw sticking out of his coat 
pocket a weekly number of Cassell's ' Popular 
Educator,' the first edition of which was then in 
course of issue. Mrs. Alexander had concluded her 
business, and was on the point of leaving, when she 
leant over the counter, and in a half whisper, in- 
formed Mr. Skinner that Willie had got a promise of 
a situation under Mr. McCombie on the Gazette ; and 
would shortly enter upon his duties. I do not 
recollect whether she said he hoped ultimately to be 
elevated to the dignity of a reporter, but such, if I am 
not mistaken, was implied. She added something to 
the effect that the poor fellow, since he met with his 
misfortune (which must have been recent), had been 
unfit for farm work, and therefore they had had to 
look out for some other occupation. How I envied 
' Willie ' from that moment. I had before then dis- 
covered that Nature never intended me for a business 
career, and being by this time a tolerably expert 
phonographer, I was hoping to secure before long a 
journalistic appointment. If a young man who had 
been bred to the plough could pass direct into a 
newspaper office without undergoing any preliminary 
course of training, might not I, though I had enjoyed 
but indifferent educational advantages, do the same. 
I envied him, yet at the same time felt pleased, as his 



good fortune did not seem to leave me altogether 
without a door of hope. 

The next and only other time I saw him was some 
fifteen months later in Aberdeen, to which city I had 
meanwhile removed. One night, during October, 
1853, after shop closing hours, I strolled along 
Belmont Street to the Free South Church, where the 
Free Synod of Aberdeen was in session. From my 
seat in the gallery I gazed for the first time, with 
feelings of awe and admiration, upon a veritable 
' reporters' table,' which occupied the centre of a 
square pew to the Moderator's left, and seated at 
which were two reporters, one being Mr. Alexander. 
One thing struck me, and that was the easy indiffer- 
ence with which they seemed to take matters. The 
' fathers and brethren ' were engaged in a heated dis- 
cussion over the case of a young country minister who 
had been guilty of a trifling irregularity in connection 
with the admission or dismissal of a member ; but all 
their eloquence the reporters allowed to run to waste, 
contenting themselves with making an odd note now 
and again, and meanwhile writing out their ' copy.' 

I left Aberdeen for the south early in the following 
year, and thus lost the opportunity I had often longed 
for, of securing a personal introduction to Mr. Alex- 
ander. He would seem during the Fifties to have 
taken, like myself, a considerable interest in matters 
phonographic. He was a member of Isaac Pitman's 
Phonetic Society down, at any rate, to 1858, and was 
one of those who, at the instance of the late Mr. ]. 
P. Barkas, of Newcastle, voted against Mr. Pitman's 
change in the vowel scale." 

This was a fierce battle, as old phono- 
graphers will remember, and although it was 
adopted in Great Britain, the original vowel 
scale is largely if not wholly used by writers 
of the system in America, led by Mr. Benn 
Pitman, the brother of the inventor of Phono- 
graphy, the late Sir Isaac Pitman. 

A. S. C. 



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2 5i 




No. 14.— MR. R. D. STRACHAN, 



N the present case the Mountain came to 
Mahomet. That is to say, by means of 

Nods and becks and wreathed smiles, 
though not necessarily such as hang on 
Hebe's cheek, we succeeded, on the will-you- 
walk-into-my-parlour principle, in enticing Aberdeen's 
latest artist into the Editorial Sanctum the other day, 
and having put him on his oath in the customary 
manner, proceeded by the usual method to include 
him in our Black (and White) Calendar. Once 
within the Torture Chamber, the full magnitude 
of the task I had undertaken dawned on me in all its 
vivid reality, for Mr. Douglas Strachan is nothing if 
not modest and retiring. Prior to this, however, and 
at the urgent request of the Editor, who is of an 
unassuming disposition, I had visited our youngest 
Book-Stall burgess at the scene of his labours in the 
Trades Hall (Belmont Street edition), in order that 
the snare might not, to put it Biblically, be set in 
vain in the sight of the bird, and with a view to 
seeing personally something of the decorative work 
with which he has lately been embellishing that 
building. Mr. Strachan, arrayed in a coat which 
might once have been white, but was now akin to 
that of Joseph, received me cheerfully, but viewed 
the prospect of coming greatness with commendable 
calmness. Which once more proves that the artistic 
temperament is above sublunary considerations. 

Aberdeen is notoriously a City of White Elephants 
— we have, to mention but a few, an Art Gallery, 
which, paradoxical though it may appear, is not an 
Art Gallery, and we are also the chastened owners of 
" those bells" which are bells but in name — and it is 
only right that the Unbeliever should be inclined to 
take with the traditional grain of salt some of the 
encomiums which an appreciative public have showered, 
with a liberality altogether foreign to Aberdeen, on 



Mr. Strachan's completed work. But that the praise 
is not undeserved a visit to the Trades Hall will testify 
to the fullest extent, for the unassuming young artist 
who both designed and executed the decorations has 
produced a result which is alike unequalled or 
approached by anything in the North of Scotland. 
Right worthily and well, therefore, has he won a right 
to such immortality as inclusion in these pages can 
confer. 

Mr. Robert Douglas Strachan started life with one 
great advantage — he was a "toon's bairn," and ipso 
facto, bound to become famous. Apart from this, 
however, he had no claim on the consideration of the 
Fates, for so far as artistic tendencies went he 
could boast of no ancestry of any special distinction. 
He was born in 1875, an d it is rather a noteworthy 
fact that the designing of the whole scheme of decora- 
tion on which he has lately been employed, as well as 
the painting of the two large canvasses representing 
Ancient and Modern Labour were executed while he 
was in his twenty-second year — surely a record so far 
as youth, combined with the result attained, are con- 
cerned. Interrogated as to his past career the 
prisoner — that is to say the victim of circumstance — 
remonstrated that his life until that particular moment 
had been a most uneventful one. His earliest re- 
collections are of what might be called a depressing 
nature, he having attempted at an immature period to 
justify the Latin tag facilis est descensus Averni by 
jumping six steps at a time, with the inevitable result 
that his career for good or ill was nigh prematurely 
ended by a broken neck. However Fate had other 
views, and he survived. In the ordinary course of 
Nature he next went to school, firstly to a private 
establishment kept by a worthy dame who found her 
pupils just about as much as she required, as the 
festive canticle puts it. The only outstanding event 




ti 



1 

0, 

c 

p 



Brown's Book-Stall. 



253 



while there was the locking out of the said dame. 
This in itself might have led to no very serious results, 
but at a critical moment the key could not be found. 
The interesting situation thus created was not, however, 
destined to fulfil its early promise ; there were no heroic 
descents by ropes or fire escapes, the key being 
eventually discovered, prosaically enough, in some- 
body's trousers' pocket, and the adventure ended 
tamely by all being duly chastised. 

In due course he left the dame's school for the 
Normal. By this time he had begun to draw— his 
first effort, so he has been told, being a realistic 
impressionist sketch of the Tay Bridge Disaster, 
while one of his earliest recollections is of being 
taken by his parents to see the place where the 
new Art Gallery was to stand and being duly im- 
pressed thereby, in what particular manner however, 
History is, unfortunately, silent. At the Normal he 
remembers having a great admiration for a class-fellow 
who could draw men — not, added Mr. Strachan, with 
just the flicker of a smile, in the sense of interviewing 
them, but merely from an artistic point of view — -and 
to such an extent did this go that young Strachan 
made a compact with the other, whereby the said 
R.D.S. of the first part, undertook to supply the said 
class-fellow, of the second, with the necessary station- 
ery, while the latter bound and obliged himself to 
deliver next morning to the aforesaid party of the 
first part, a due supply of pictorial matter. In due 
course, however, he was able to produce men of his 
own, and we next find the future artist in Church, 
varying the monotony of the sermon by perpetuating in 
pencil the pastor and congregation, who, decent people, 
were in blissful ignorance of the liberties thus being 
taken with them. 

When about nine years of age R. D. S. took a 
bursary at Gordon's College, and duly went there. 
He well remembers how he used to look with longing 
eyes from the classroom window at Gray's School of 
Art, and think how much better it would be to be 
there than "doing lessons." But in spite of the 
terror which the very name of the learned Doctor who 
then controlled, as happily he still continues to do, 
the destinies of the institution, used to strike into the 
hearts of the youngsters, he liked the old "Sillerton" 
School immensely, and spent many happy days there, 
varying the monotony of life by playing football with 
zeal, getting damaged, and finding his bruises an 
excellent method whereby he obtained an artificial 
rest from his studies. 



After three pleasant years at Gordon's, he 
started work in a granite merchant's establishment, 
where he found vent for his artistic skill and a con- 
genial task for his somewhat grave disposition in 
drawing tombstones. From this he went to the office 
of our learned contemporary, the Free Press, where 
he "served a span" as a lithographic artist. While 
there he of course came under the genial influence of 
the late Dr. Alexander. 

"The first man who ever took a real interest in 
myself and my work," remarked Mr. Strachan, in 
speaking of the Doctor, for whom, in common with 
all who ever met the kindly-hearted gentleman, he 
has a most profound respect and admiration. Of the 
author of "Johnny Gibb" he has many interesting 
recollections, particularly interesting to the writer, 
who found in Dr. Alexander one of his staunchest 
friends and most kindly advisers. One day Mr. 
Strachan was summoned to appear in the Editorial 
room, and wondering muchly what could be wrong, 
and trembling not a little, he made his way thither. 
But he was not long kept in suspense — the Doctor 
remarking in his customary pleasant fashion that he 
had been noticing the young artist's work, that he was 
highly pleased with it, and that he would like Mr. 
Strachan to feel that he was his friend. An invitation 
to Belvidere Place followed, when the Doctor gave 
him much good advice and encouragement,, which, at 
the time, was doubly welcome from the fact that its 
recipient was feeling depressed and dissatisfied with 
his work. The conversation was lightened by many 
interesting recollections on the part of Dr. Alexander 
of famous people such as Thackeray, Leighton, and 
others whom he had met, and the visit ended in Mr. 
Strachan receiving his first commission — -to execute a 
pen and ink portrait of a friend of his patron, the 
latter explaining that he was afraid the photo from 
which the drawing was to be done was beginning to 
fade, and that he therefore wanted a more permanent 
record. Mr. Strachan's own opinion was that the 
photo was all right and likely to remain so — but it 
was just the Doctor's kindly way. In due course 
the sketch was finished, but the artist was dissatisfied 
with it, and begged permission to do another. The 
second effort was more to his mind, but it his bene- 
factor was never destined to see. On the night he 
called with the drawing Doctor Alexander was ill, 
and within the next few days the noble, generous, 
and kindly Doctor had gone to his last long home. 

Mr. Strachan's art training began simultaneously 



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255 



with his efforts to perpetuate the memory of the 
departed by means of suitable tombstones. About 
this time there was the usual difficulty as to what he 
was to be, and to his parents' credit be it said, they 
did not oppose his leanings towards Art. While the 
problem was still unsolved he entered one of the 
usual September competitions in connection with the 
Art School, and was successful in winning a bursary. 
Subsequently he attended the classes under Mr. 
Fraser and Mr. Ogg, one of his contemporaries being 
Mr. Robert Brough. It was about this period that he 
was "discovered" by Mr. W. Milne Gibson, the 
jovial Editor of Figaro, whose genius for unearthing 
and developing new musical talent is only equalled by 
the skill with which he "spots" a likely artist. To 
Figaro Mr. S. contributed some remarkably successful 
litho-work, notably a series of portraits of distinguished 
authors, one of which, a sketch of Mr. Le Gallienne, 
so impressed Mr. Coulson Kernahan that he wrote 
the present writer a very eulogistic letter in its praise. 
By means of the funds thus earned, coupled with 
what he could save out of an apprentice's salary, he 
was, in time, able to indulge in what — to a person 
none too liberally endowed with those riches the lack 
of which Robbie mourned so pathetically when he 

wrote 

For lack c' thee I scrimp my glass, 
For lack o' thee I've lost my lass — 

might be called the luxury of a Session at the Life 
School of the R.S.A. While in Edinburgh he made 
the acquaintance of Sir George Reid, but for words 
to describe adequately the kindness of the President 
and Lady Reid, both then and since, Mr. Strachan 
confessed he was at a complete loss. Sir George, 
doubtless recollecting a somewhat similar occasion in 
his own career when he, an equally unknown laddie 
from the North, paid a visit to the then President, 
Sir George Harvey, and the kindness with which he 
was received, did everything in his power to encourage 
and assist his youthful townsman. 

From Edinburgh R. D. S. went to Manchester to do 
black and white work for several papers there, and 
though personally his heart was not in the class of 
work on which he was then engaged, he nevertheless 
produced some exceptionally clever cartoons, marked 
alike by skill in draughtsmanship and happiness in 
conception. It is rather a curious coincidence that on 
one occasion he produced a topical picture almost 
identical in subject and in treatment with one drawn 
by Mr. F. C. Gould for an issue of the Westminster 



Gazette appearing simultaneously with that of Mr. 
Strachan's paper, and on another anticipated Sir 
John Tenniel and Punch in a similarly striking fashion. 
But in black and white it is decoration that is Mr. 
Strachan's strong point, some of his work in this 
direction having won the unstinted approval of one of 
the greatest of all decorative artists, Mr. Walter Crane, 
whom he met while in Manchester. And here I 
might not inaptly call especial attention to the speci- 
mens of Mr. Strachan's drawing accompanying these 
notes, and which, with characteristic kindness, and 
notwithstanding the extreme pressure at which he was 
working when I invited him to be pilloried, he did 
specially for B.B., and in particular to the charming 
local sketch — a moonlight view taken from one of the 
windows of the Trades Hall looking towards Union 
Bridge and " the Joint " — which, alike from its 
subject and its execution, will doubtless be highly 
prized by our readers. 

In consequence of a very serious illness, Mr. 
Strachan returned to Aberdeen about a year ago. It 
was at one time his intention to proceed to Paris, 
but ill health prevented this. However, Fortune 
finally came with both hands full, if not of vulgar 
(but useful) coppers, at least of work after his 
own heart. Through his uncle, Mr. William Living- 
ston, J. P., the well-known ex-President of the 
Trades Council and Labour Leader, he heard of the 
proposal to decorate the Belmont Street Hall, and 
thereupon volunteered to paint the two pictures 
representing Ancient and Modern Labour. But so 
enamoured of the work did he become, and so pleased 
(to their credit be it said, for Labour with the capital 
" L" does not as a rule get credit for having any 
special appreciation for Art with the capital "A") 
were the Council with the result, that he was entrusted 
with the entire scheme of decoration of the building. 
A fact in connection with this, and one which has not, 
perhaps, been fully realised is that not only is the 
actual painting of the allegorical designs and panel 
pictures the work of Mr. Strachan, but that he also 
did all the designing not only of these but of the 
decorative shields and ornaments, and of the very 
elaborate scheme on the ceiling. In short, he is practic- 
ally responsible for the whole thing, and when it is 
borne in mind that the work has been planned out and 
done in something like three or four months, the 
result cannot be considered but marvellous. 

And here, perhaps, a word as to the general scheme 
of Mr. Strachan's work at Belmont Street may not be 



256 



Brown's Book-Stall. 



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uninteresting. While the actual result will soon be 
familiar to all Aberdonians, and not a few visitors as 
well, it may serve to heighten local interest in what is 
a most successful and a truly remarkable effort on the 
part of so young an artist, if I give a few words of 
explanation as to the main idea of the design. 

On either side of the platform are the two large 
panels, each 12 by 10 feet, representing Ancient and 
Modern Labour. In the former are illustrated the 
differest types of Roman life —galley slaves and their 
drivers, merchants, fruit sellers, water carriers, 
sculptors, warriors and others. With a view to 
suggesting the greater depth to the panel (which he 
felt it required), the artist has used the diagonal line in 
the composition, the straight line being brought in to 
rectify the diagonal at the wall. The companion 
picture is rather a daring conception of a subject 
which might, in less able hands, have easily become 
conventional. In the foreground is a group of work- 
men, chiefly engineering — as being the key note of 
Modern Labour. In middle distance is a car, standing 
in which is a bronze figure of Freedom, led and pulled 
by the chief industries. The classical architecture 
of the other panel is here replaced with great skill 
by modern mills, electric lamp, etc. Note, too, the 
clever use of handkerchiefs with a view to colour effect. 

In the cove are fourteen wall paintings, seven on 
each of two sides of the hall. On the north and to 
the right as the visitor enters, the central panel is a 
figure in white, typical of Greatness, arched over by 
two low-toned figures, and surrounded by four others 
in a kneeling posture. To the left are the Sciences and 
to the right the Arts, while the panels at the extremes 
are made up of the different Nations all verging to the 
centre to pay their tribute to Greatness — the whole 
being a highly successful attempt to embody an 
elevated idea of Labour. On the south side the 
arrangement is similar, in the centre being the Altar 
of Fame, approached by vestal virgins on one side 
and sages on the other. Whereas the costumes on 
the other side were severe to express earnestness, on 
this they are rich, free, and voluptuous. The other 
panels represent Music, War, etc., and are treated in 
a similar style. 

In the panels on the wall between the windows are 
represented the Chief Industries — Engineering, 
Decoration, Agriculture, Architecture, Navigation, 
Carpentry, Weaving, and Printing ; male and female 
figures alternating, and on the two panels broken by 
the gallery are two kneeling figures of Music and 



Oratory. Of these, perhaps, one of the most success- 
ful is that typical of Navigation, to my thinking 
a very happy and well worked out conception. At 
the back of the platform over arch of window are 
seated figures of Justice and Truth, beside the former 
being a knight, and before the latter a maiden, while 
the ceiling is composed of a skilfully wrought design, 
the Bon-Accord leopard and the Scottish lion being 
cleverly and appropriately worked into the corners. 




MR. R. D. STRAC1IAN. 

Example is, without doubt, better than precept, 
and as Mr. Strachan has cleverly utilised Architecture 
at each end of his panel pictures with a view to 
lending solidity to the design, so am I fortunate in 
being able to ballast the somewhat airy lightness of 
these notes by winding up with a thoughtful and 
critical commentary on the work of our young towns- 
man from the pen of one well qualified to judge, and 
who has kindly written the following appreciation for 
the benefit of the more exacting of Book-Stall readers. 
The fact that the gentleman has always been a very 



*58 



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ABERDEEN AWA' 

Sketches of its Men, Manners, and Customs. 

By GEORGE WALKER. 

With Portraits and Illustrations. 



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59 



candid critic of Mr. Strachan's work, lends additional 
value to the well deserved tribute which he now pays 
to its excellence. 

R. D. S. 

AN APPRECIATION. 



Works of Decorative Art on anything save a meagre s*cale are 
all too rare in our city, and the one just completed by Mr. 
Robert Douglas Strachan is in many respects quite unique. 
To undertake the successful decoration of a large hall implies 
ability comparatively rare in these days. To carry it through 
in so extensive and opulent a scale, as in the present instance, 
indicates the presence of inherent Art qualities of a high order. 
One or two comments on Mr. Strachan's work will illustrate 
to what a remarkable extent it indicates the presence of those 
>pecial qualities which are a necessity to the successful comple- 
tion of such a work as he has produced. Of those the most 
evident is that of colour ; the quality that is finest and most 
mature. Through every difficulty Mr. Strachan is always 
rescued by his colour. He has command of a palette of great 
richness and delicacy. His work abounds in beautiful harmonies 
of exquisite greens and greys, and lovely qualities of amber, 
russet, and saffron that possess an illusive mystery and romantic 
charm only found in the work of the great colourists. Apart 
from every other consideration, the beautiful colouring of his 
pictures would entitle him to a high place as an artist. In 
short, the ability to colour beautifully and harmoniously is a 
thing Mr. Strachan possesses instinctively. 

Fertility of invention in presenting new phases, not rendered 
lifeless by convention, nor irritating by extravagance, is another 
quality present in a wonderful degree in Mr. Strachan's work. 
There is everywhere the utmost variety in grouping, type of 
figure and style of treatment always properly subordinate to 
and combined with the unity of the whole. This facile inven- 
tion, together with the almost instinctive power of design, is one 
of the most outstanding virtues exhibited in the work. 

In his work generally, his feeling and attitude is always 
towards aesthetic realisation. His earlier work frequently 
showed a tendency to be didactic. A pardonable liking for 
symbolism and allegory frequently hindered artistic expression. 
These objectionable elements have now happily disappeared, 
and this, his recent work, we find approached with an interest 
entirely for the aesthetic. The large decorative pictures abound 
with instances of this genuine artistic impulse for aestheticism. 
It shows itself in fine, frequently masterly grouping, combined 
with a sensitive feeling for beauty of line ; expressive and 
vigorous, if slightly conventional, drawing, and well-nigh perfect 
instinct for colour. j 

The artist of this work, the qualities of which have thus appealed 
to me, is a young man of strong personality. Training in school 
or academy has had little to do with the formation of his Art. 
Like every true artist, it is the outcome of a strong individual 
method of seeing and thinking. For the laws and conventions 
of academies and schools he neither has nor ever had any 
sympathy. True to himself and his own instincts, gifted by 
nature with indomitable energy and perseverance, he has by 
his genuine sincerity and devotion built up an Art of singular 
power and beauty. Imbued with an instinctive repulsion for all 



that is commonplace and literal in Art, his Art has passed 
through many stages, but at every period it carried with 
remarkable clearness, evidence of a mind fitted with high 
aesthetic desire. No Art tells more truthfully what is passing in 
a man's heart and soul, so well as that of Painting. In the 
rising young artists of to-day, we can discern much that is good 
in craftsmanship. They are one and all richly endowed with 
the erudition of the school and academy; but the thinking 
mind and the feeling heart is seldom met. The Art tendencies 
and sympathies of to-day are to foster the literal and common- 
place representation, into which no element of the artist's 
nature goes, a vapid senseless Art. The artist whose work is 
to be of enduring value, is he who presents in earnest and loving 
devotion his passionate impression of Art and Life. 

X. 

I have left myself little or no space in which to 
refer to the Future. Personally, Mr. Strachan would 
prefer to continue his decorative work, and his ambi- 
tion is to do his " ain toon" first. That there is 
plenty of scope for his energy and ability here is 
obvious — one has only to look at our grimy Music Hall 
to be convinced of this. I give the hint to the powers 
that be for what it is worth, but whether it be here or 
in fresh fields and pastures new that his lot is cast 
there is little doubt that R.D.S. will prove alike a 
credit to himself and an honour to Bon-Accord. 

J. G. R. 



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MORE ABERDEEN WORTHIES: 

MOSTLY MUSICAL. 

No. VI. 

FIRST organised body of vocal- 
ists was called into being in 
1849, ar| d ably conducted by 
Mr. William Carnie, flourished 
and gave forth sweet sounds, 
under the title of the Harmonic 
Choir. The " Harmonic " con- 
sisted of some 40 mixed voices, 
and continued to rehearse and 
^^v give concerts of part-songs, 
^w glees, etc., till i860. At the 
inception of this talented little 
body, Mr. Carnie, an engraver 
by profession, was in the employ of the late 
Mr. John Henderson, the leading lithographer 
of the town, whose place of business was in 
what was then known as Union Buildings. 
It may be of interest to note in passing that, 
on the death of Mr. Henderson the business 
was bought by Mr. Alexander Keith, a 
painter and glazier in Aberdeen, who, in 
conjunction with Mr. Andrew Gibb, founded 
the widely known firm of Keith & Gibb, 
draftsmen and lithographers. Mr. Hender- 
son held the Royal Warrant as " printseller 
to the Queen," and I don't think I am 
giving any one away when I state that, during 
all the years that Messrs. Keith & Gibb con- 
tinued in business together they enjoyed the 




same Royal Favour ! *My object in intro- 
ducing the name of this firm is to enable me 
to state further that when Messrs. Keith & 
Gibb took over Mr. Henderson's business 
they took along with it two employees 
who since have made their mark in local 
musical history and development. I refer to 
Mr. Wm. Carnie, and Mr. David Taylor 
(recently deceased). Mr. Carnie was the 
originator of the Harmonic Choir, and the 
original male members were all workers in 
Mr. Henderson's engraving and lithographing 
establishment. Mr. Carnie is now, since the 
lamented death of his life-long friend and 

*It is of more than passing interest to note that 
Mr. Alex. Keith, one of the founders of the firm of 
Keith & Gibb, is still alive and hearty, and his short, 
well-knit figure is to be seen on our streets daily, 
moving along with a nimbleness that would put to 
shame much younger men. In Art as well as Music 
the old firm played an important part in its time. It 
was within the friendly doors of" Messrs. Keith & 
Gibb's work-rooms that Sir George Reid, /'.R.S.A., 
and Mr. John Mitchell received their early training, 
and to a certain extent, under the fostering care and 
example of the late Mr. Andrew Gibb, had their 
artistic acumen encouraged and developed. And it 
was from the same mould that one of the cleverest 
cartoonists and black and white caricaturists that ever 
Aberdeen has produced, was brought forth. The 
son of a celebrated local violin teacher, Mr. Wm. 
Spark, the lad early shewed an enthusiasm and apt- 
ness for caricature. Many who take an interest in 
Aberdeen publications will remember with relish the 
first of a series of local cartoons which appeared in 
the Northern Figaro ^ in the first year of its existence. 
The title, coined by a local clergyman, who did not 
favour dancing either in its abstract or concrete forms, 
is not likely soon to be forgotten, and so "Springs, 
Flings, and Close-bosomed Whirls," became historical. 
Young Spark ultimately went to London, but I have 
not heard of him for years. 



262 



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263 



musical confrere, Mr. Taylor, the only surviv- 
ing member in the original cast. What a 
wealthy and varied repertoire the Harmonic 
Choir had ! At my elbow while I write lies a 
"sonsy" volume including most of the 
pieces tackled at one time or other by the 
members. Among the closing numbers I 
find a setting of " Awake, Thou That Sleep- 
est," by Wm. Horsley, " The Grand Chant " 
(Pelham Humphreys), Morris's " Double 
Chant," and the psalm tune, " Evan," 
" Melody attributed to Rev. W. H. Havergal, 
arranged by Dr. Lowell Mason," lithographed 
in Mr. Camie's well-known, distinct hand- 
writing for "The Aberdeen General Psalmody 
Association, November, 1855." To give an 
idea of the style of vocal music which found 
favour in the eyes and on the ears of a dis- 
cerning local public, I shall quote from the 
programme of a concert given by the 
Harmonic Choir in the Mechanics' Hall, 
Market Street, on Tuesday, 28th December, 
1852, "in aid of the Fund for the relief 
of the widows and families of the seamen 
belonging to this Port, who perished dur- 
ing the late gale." The concert is des- 
ignated a " Glee and Madrigal Concert, 
with a selection of sacred pieces," and was 
under the patronage of the Lord Provost and 
Magistrates. The programme is divided into 
three parts, and out of seventeen items there 
are no less than seven madrigals. These are 
"Hard by a Fountain" (Waelrent, 1550), 
" Since first I saw your face " (Thomas Ford, 
1607), "The Silver Swan" (Orlando Gibbons, 
161 2), "Now is the Month of Maying" 
(Thomas Morley, 1594), "Awake! Sweet 
Love" (Thomas Dowland, 1588), "Down in 
a Flowery Vale " (Constantius Festa, 1541), 
" In going to my lonesome bed " (Richard 
Edwards, 1560). There are four glees: — 
"Swiftly from the mountain's brow" (Samuel 
Webbe), "When winds breathe soft" (Webbe), 
" Hail ! smiling morn " (Reginald Spofforth), 
"See the chariot of love" (William Horsley). 
Besides these there are a round, " Yes ! 
Brothers, Yes!" (G. H. Rodwell), quartet 
and chorus " Now pray we for our country " 
(Miss Flower), Mendelssohn's "Sleepers 
Wake " (St. Paul), Kent's fine anthem " O 
that I had wings," and the " Hallelujah " 



chorus from Handel's Messiah. Mr. R. H. 
Baker acted as accompanist, and, of course, 
Mr. Carnie was conductor. The Harmonic 
Choir may be said to have been the nucleus 
of the Aberdeen General Psalmody Associa- 
tion. It at least proved the harbinger of 
that huge wave of psalmody which swept 
over the whole length and breadth of Scot- 
land shortly after. In a future " ramble " I 
purpose to refer somewhat exhaustively to 
the movement begun in 1854, whereby a 
gradual and, let it be said in a true spirit of 
thankfulness, permanent improvement in the 
psalmody of our churches was effected. 

In the Autumn of 1852, a company of 
some twenty gentlemen met in Aberdeen for 
the purpose of forming a society for the 
practice of concerted mixed-voice music. 
Under the name of the Aberdeen Musical 
Association this society was successfully 
floated, but at the outset only gentlemen 
were eligible for membership, it being con- 
sidered prudent that " they should have some 
practice before inviting ladies to assist them." 
Among the founders of the Musical Associa- 
tion were Mr. James Walker — brother of the 
respected Dr. Alexander Walker, ex-Dean of 
Guild — who was for many years the president, 
and did incalculable service to the cause of 
music in our city ; Mr. John Forbes White, 
LL.D., now of Dundee; Mr. George Walker, 
an ex-Baillie, of Brown's Book-Stall fame, 
and others. Mr. Richard Latter, of whom 
more anon, was the first conductor, and he 
was succeeded in turn by Professor Stone, 
Mr. Alexander Laing, Mr. Alex. Machray, 
and Herr August Reiter. The body became 
defunct in 1884, while Mr. Wm. Adlington 
(of Messrs. J. Marr, Wood, & Co.), was 
acting as interim conductor. Instituted for 
the purpose of rehearsing part-songs, glees, 
madrigals, and choruses, the Association 
gradually launched into more pretentious — 
although frequently less grateful — music. 
Among the works produced were : — Gade's 
Erl King's Daughter, Schumann's Paradise 
and the Peri, Mendelssohn's Athalie, Wal- 
purgis Night, and Lobgesang, etc. The 
membership was over 100 in its best days, 
and its concerts were all gratis, although the 
members not infrequently sang in the sweet 



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265 



cause of charity, and on these occasions 
" passed round the hat." 

Then came the Aberdeen Choral Society, 
instituted in 1853, a very modest body of 
working lads and lasses, under the leadership 
of a working man, a moulder to trade, by 
name, James Melvin. In music Mr. Melvin 
was self-taught, but his grounding in the all- 
important matter of theory was none the less 
effective or complete on that account. His 
taste may not have been so refined as that of 
some of his compeers, but he succeeded in 
instilling musical principles into the minds of 
his "boys and girls," which proved of 
immense value to them in after years. 
During the time he conducted the Choral 
Society he successfully "brought out" several 
good solo voices. I have distinct recollec- 
tions of two male singers who were members 
of the Choral Society — "Bob" and John 
Fleming. Their father and mother kept a 
small shop in Guestrow of a nondescript 
character. The place had a licence for the 
sale of spirituous liquors, over which depart- 
ment " old Robbie " presided, but in con- 
junction therewith Mrs. Fleming reserved a 
portion of the premises for the sale of milk 
in the mornings ! Later on, if my memory 
does not play me tricks, "Tom" Gibb, the 
chief detective in Aberdeen for a number of 
years, followed the Flemings in the same 
shop, but his business was purely that of a 
spirit dealer. To refer back to the brothers 
Fleming, however, "Bob" was, I think, a 
moulder to trade, and John was certainly a 
saddler. I remember "Bob's" (the elder of 
the two) favourite song at the Choral Society's 
"open rehearsals," for their entertainments 
were never designated "concerts," was 
" Rocked in the Cradle of the Deep." He 
had a ponderous bass voice of somewhat 
limited range, and the manner in which he 
rolled out his notes was calculated to shake 
every seat in the Mechanic's Hall, where the 
"rehearsals" used to be given! John 
Fleming had a good, serviceable baritone 
voice which he could use with effect. If I 
remember aright, Mr. John Munro, another 
famous baritone of the day, was wont to 
regale the same audiences with the " British 
Lion," and "Maggie Lauder." The pro- 



grammes of the Choral Society were chiefly 
made up of glees and part-songs. After 
Mr. Melvin's death the Society was variously 
conducted by Mr. James Wilson, Mr. John 
Watson, and Mr. John Murray. 

In 1857, out of a singing class taught by 
Mr. James Valentine, sprang a new vocal 
body, known as the " Concordia " Musical 
Society. The "ringleaders" in this move- 
ment were the two brothers Wilson, John 
and James, sons of Mr. James Wilson, book- 
binder, whose place of business in St. 
Nicholas Street was for many years a land- 
mark. The " Concordia " was, like the 
Musical Association, at first confined to a 
male membership, the most of the original 
coterie being apprentices in the Aberdeen 
Journal office. Ultimately, however, it 
developed into a mixed choir. Among the 
male members of this organisation were Mr. 
James W. Robson ; Mr. Alex. Machray ; 
Mr. Francis Kelly ; a brother of the late 
Mr. R. B. Home, sharebroker ; Mr. James 
Leslie, printer ; Mr. Calder, printer, now of 
Fraserburgh ; Mr. Trail, known by the tee 
name " Fooshtie " ; and Mr. James Donald, 
a lithographer, then in the employment of 
Messrs. Keith & Gibb. After rehearsing for 
some time, the opening meeting was held in 
Dr. Bell's School, Frederick Street, at which 
Mr. Carnie was present and, in moving a vote 
of thanks at the close of the entertainment, 
stated that he had " never heard more hearty 
singing." Frank Clements. 



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§IGD0F5IORflSb&PeD 



No. 15.— MISS CHRIS HAMMOND. 



Being some notes on the 
Black and White Artists 
of to day 




O most delicate fiend ! 
Who is't can read a woman ? 

Cymbeline v., 5. 

EQUENCE of Thought is a 

capital parlour game, and, 

when once it is mastered, 

you will be surprised at the 

results which can be obtained. 

For instance we will infer, 

for the sake of illustration, 

that this "Note" is to 

appear in the November issue 

of Brown's Book-Stall, and, having read over Robbie 

to some purpose, the mere mention of the eleventh 

month naturally reminds us that 

" Chill November's surly blast 
Leaves fields and forests bare." 

Notwithstanding the idiosyncrasies of our climate, 
surly blasts are popularly associated with Winter, and 
from this we pass by an easy transition to Christmas. 
The Festive Season at once suggests mistletoe, and 
mistletoe can only be regarded as a means designed 
by an intelligent Providence to aid and abet the 
gentle, joyous and ancient custom of Kissing. That 
on the other hand, may give rise to many conflicting 
thoughts — Influenza, Microbes, and Breach of Promise 
Cases among others, but before these are reached 
we are pulled up short by a lively recollection of 
The Ladies. Quod erat demonstrandum. 

It may have been by some such fantastic process of 
reasoning as this that the Editor arrived at the same 
end, or it may not, but at anyrate during a lull in the 
conversation after a most animated debate on the 
Multiplication of the Unfit, he said pensively, and 
with a far-away look — 

"The Ladies — bless 'em ! " 



" By all means," I answered. " Like Lay Brother 
Pelican and his bath, they want it badly." 

He ignored the obvious smartness of the remark, 
but resumed — 

" Which reminds me " 

I begged to be excused, recalling the fact that the 
hour was late, and his Hill-top stories generally in 
the now obsolete three-volume form. Besides I felt 
sure it was a " chestnut." He gently suppressed me, 
however, and continued unmovedly — 

" Which reminds me that you have hitherto con- 
fined your attentions in the pages of MY publication 
(this quite in the Chamberlain vein) to the claims of 
mere men, and absolutely neglected the immeasurably 
superior ones of the fairer sex. Now, sir," he added 
with some severity, " what have you to say for your- 
self?" 

I answered mildly in the words of Cymbeline which 
open this article. 

But, as Mr. Nicholas Rowe says, however — 

'• Beshrew my heart, but it is wondrous strange : 
Sure there is something more than witchcraft in them, 
That masters e'en the wisest of us all," 

and ere I fondly bade him farewell that evening he 
had extracted from me a promise that a new charm 
and grace should be added to these Notes — if not in 
the manner of their telling (which I was careful to 
point out would be impossible), at least in their 
subject — by the introduction of the feminine element. 
Place aux dames ! then, and time till't, as the 
historic old lady remarked when she beheld the 
Loch o' Skene and took it for the sea, though of a 
verity the delay must not be considered as altogether 
due to lack of gallantry on the part of the writer. 
Ladies are at best hard to woo, and still more difficult 
to win, and this is equally true of them from an 
interviewing point of view as it is in more important 



268 Brown's Book-Stall. 



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Brown's Book-Stall. 



269 



matters. Naturally I aspired high — in fact I began 
at the top of the tree, but found Miss Chris Hammond 
no exception to the general rule. Yet, as Mr. Gilbert 
has pointed out — 

" It's merely a matter of skill 

Which all may attain if they will, 
For every Jack must study the knack 
If he wants to make sure of his Jill !" 

The correspondence opened on or about 26th 
November, 1897, when, in reply to the customary 
invitation to have her virtues (and her faults, if she 
had any, which of course, I added, that I very much 
doubted) made public, Miss Hammond wrote — 

" I have made a rule not to be interviewed in any paper, and 
and I don't think I can make any exception." 

That would have damped some people, but I 
remembered the old proverb about Faint Heart and 
Fair Lady, and cheered up. The Second Act is 
dated 12th December of the same year. Miss Ham- 
mond still maintained her objection to " interviews," 
but pleaded that she " hadn't time." With character- 
istic kindness, however, she added that particulars of 
what I was pleased to call her "career" would be 
found in " Who's Who." Thusly encouraged, I 
returned to the attack, and as she still maintained her 
objection to the " personal interview " — having refused 
to go through a similar ordeal for the benefit of 
several London papers and magazines, she held, with 
some show of reason I admit, that she would not make 
an exception even at the request of the Book-Stall. I 
had, perforce, to have resource to the "interview by 
correspondence." It only remains to be added that 
this alternative had, in a measure, the desired result, 
and I was able to glean some further material for the 
compilation of these notes, though once agaii the 
privileged shyness of Miss Hammond's disposition 
came to her rescue, and made her far from willing 
to write about herself or her work, for, as his Grace 
of York remarked to Queen Margaret in Henry VI. — 

" 'Tis beauty that doth oft make women proud ; 
'Tis virtue that doth make them most admired ; 
'Tis modesty that makes them seem divine." 

Miss Chris Hammond, painter and black and white 
artist, was born in classic Camberwell not so very 
far, by the way, from Denmark Hill where Mr. 
Ruskin spent his youth, as those who have read his 
" Praeterita" will recollect — but I'm not so ungallant 
as to mention dates, though the portrait of the fair 
artist, which we are specially privileged in being able 



to reproduce — Miss Hammond being almost Corellian 
in her objection to this form of publicity — will prove 
that it wasn't so very long ago. She is a daughter of 
Mr. H. Demain Hammond, and a sister of Miss 
Gertrude Demain Hammond, also a well known artist 
who draws in wash with a skill hardly inferior to that 
with which Miss Chris uses the pen, and who, by the 
way, recently assumed the thrice-golden fetters. 
Queried as to the most thrilling incidents of her life, 
Miss Hammond replied that unfortunately for the 
interest of this chronicle there were none, and even 
what there was to tell about herself was of so ordinary 
a nature that she thought I had better write the 
article — as, from a perusal of some previous ones she 
felt sure I could do — without any reference to herself 
whatever save that contained in the title. Even this 
did not dispirit me, however, so in imagination, 
bowing slightly, I simply wrote that I was glad she 
liked my " introductory remarks." After this pleasant 
passage-at-arms (in the more prosaic, if, proverbially^ 
"mightier" medium of the pen), I begged of her to 
tell me her story, and trust me to do the rest. 

At a very early period of her career Miss Hammond 
showed a predilection for the pencil, and at the mature 
age of ten she received at home, and under the tuition 
of a governess, her first lessons in Art in the good — 
or as she is rather inclined to put it in the light of 
later experience— the bad old-fashioned way of draw- 
ing from the flat. Her next stage was the Lambeth 
School of Art, a branch Science and Art Department 
School, but at that time the best of its kind. At 
Sweet Seventeen, and after about five years antique 
and life study at this school, where, it may be recol- 
lected, Mr. Frank Craig who, since his inclusion in 
this series has been going so strongly in the pages of 
the Graphic — the moral of which is, of course, obvious 
— also received his art training, she won a three years' 
scholarship, equivalent to free instruction for that 
period at the Royal Academy Schools. At the time 
Miss Hammond was at Lambeth, Mr. John Sparkes, 
late of South Kensington, was Principal, and under 
his auspices the Sketch Club (to which reference 
has already been made in our interview with Mr. 
Craig) was started, and to the excellent means thus 
afforded of learning the art' of composition, as well 
as to Mr. Sparkes's trenchant and helpful criticism, 
Miss Hammond attributes much — as she modestly 
puts it — of whatever success she may have gained in 
her Art. Another method of self-education here 
carried out, and one which might be followed with 



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271 



advantage elsewhere, was the drawing by the pupils, 
after work, of hour and half-hour sketches for each 
other — a fancy that could not fail to be mutually 
beneficial, and was therefore much encouraged by 
the masters. 

At the R.A. the students went through another 
course of antique and life drawing before being 
allowed to paint in the Preliminary School of Paint- 
ing, more familiarly and briefly known as the 
" Prelim.," from which they are, in turn, passed 



into the "Upper Life" for painting the head and 
draped figure from life. Miss Hammond soon showed 
her mettle by passing through the various Schools, and 
the examinations intervening between each of the 
stages, almost as quickly as it could be done. At the 
end of the three years' course, another similar period 
of training is given if the student has passed the 
exams, and attended all the lectures — the latter being 
a sine qua non. The state of Miss Hammond's 
health, however, precluded her from fulfilling |the 




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Brown's Book-Stall. 



273 



latter condition — the lectures being at night — and she 
was voted ineligible for the second term of student- 
ship. This apparent misfortune proved a blessing in 
disguise, alike for Miss Hammond personally and for 
the many who have derived pleasure from her work, 
for it was the means of turning her attention to 
making some use professionally of what she had 
learned, and as a consequence gave us one of our 
finest and most dainty black and white artists. 

While working at the R.A. she had begun illustrat- 
ing stories in various papers, among the first to 
recognise her abilities being Mr. James Barr, the 
genial Editor of the Detriot Free Press, who secured 
her services for a Christmas number. To the earlier 
issues of Pick-Me-Up, then under the Art Editorship 
of Mr. Reichirdt, she also contributed some capital 
work, though she is far from being a "humorous" 
artist in the generally accepted meaning of the word. 
The connection thus begun gradually extended, 
embracing, between the years 1888- 1 894, such well 
known periodicals as CasselPs Magazine, the Quiver, 
English Illustrated, Queen, and St. Pauls, till at 
the present time there are few if any magazines of note 
which have not at one time or another been enriched 
by examples of Miss Hammond's exquisite line work. 
In 1886 Miss Hammond exhibited at the Royal 
Academy, and also regularly from 1 89 1 to 1894, 
while in 1886 and 1895 some of her colour work 
graced the walls of the Royal Institution. Latterly, 
however, she has almost entirely devoted her energies 
to book illustration, her record in this respect being 
little short of marvellous, when the uniformly high 
quality of the work coupled with the amount done, are 
considered. I append a list of the volumes illustrated 
by her (and names of publishers) which may be of 
some interest to those who take pleasure in the graceful 
work of our leading lady on the Black and White 
stage : — 

1894 " Castle Rackrent and The Absentee." Edgeworth. 

(MacMillan & Coy). 

1895 " Popular Tales." Edgeworth. (MacMillan). 
" Moral Tales." Marmontel. (George Allen). 

" Sir Charles Grandison." Richardson. (George Allen). 

1896 " Helen." Edgeworth. (MacMillan). 

" Comedies." Goldsmith. (George Allen). 
" Esmond.' Thackeray. (Service & Paton). 
" Belinda." Edgeworth. (MacMillan). 

1897 " Parents' Assistant." Edgeworth. (MacMillan). 
" Pendennis." Thackeray. (Service & Paton). 

" Vanity Fair." Thackeray. (Service & Paton). 
" The Newcomes." Thackeray. (Service & Paton). 
" The Caxtons." Lytton. (Service & Paton). 
" Daniel." Blackmore. Blackwood). 



The volumes published by Messrs. MacMillan & Coy., 
Ltd., are included in their "Illustrated Standard 
Library," as well as in the sumptuous "Peacock" 
edition issued by them, while those bearing the imprint 
of Messrs. Service & Paton, the well known firm that 
has done so much in the way of producing what might 
be called editions de luxe for the million, form part 
of their marvellously cheap and beautifully printed 
" English Illustrated Library." To Miss Hammond 
personally are due our best thanks for the illustra- 
tion on page 266, as well as the portrait of 
herself — both specially done for the Book-Stall. 
All these speak for themselves and give a better 
idea than any words of mine could of the high 
qualities of Miss Hammond's art, and in particular 
of its dainty grace and charm, but before finally taking 
leave of her book illustration I ought perhaps to add 
a special word in praise of the drawings done by her 
for " Sir Charles Grandison," " Moral Tales," and 
Goldsmith's " Comedies," each of which has been 
published in a set of really elegant and handsomely 
got up volumes by Mr. George Allen. 

Among lady black and white artists it is well known 
that Miss Hammond stands at the top of the tree, but 
without having anything of the so-called New Woman 
in her disposition, she is still independant enough 
to desire that her work should be judged, not in com- 
parison with the circumscribed limitations of her own 
particular class, but rather with that of all artists, 
" without prejudice," as the lawyers and Mr. Zang- 
will put it, on account of sex or other considerations. 
But be the standard what it may her drawings will 
more than hold their own, being characterised by a 
vigour, grace, and charm that makes them out as the 
work of a true and brilliant artist. 

Of Miss Hammond personally one can say little 
that would not be promptly deleted by her as all too 
flattering. She has neither fads nor fancies, takes her 
pleasure in reading, walking, and going to the play, 
and remains a quiet and unaffected, pleasant and 
handsome English lady. In short one can most easily 
sum up her virtues by referring to the poet, for the 
immortal Robbie might well have had her in his mind 
when he paid the ever memorable compliment to her 
sex : — 

" Auld Nature swears the lovely dears 
Her noblest work she classes O, 
Her 'prentice han' she tried on man 
And then she made the lasses O ! " 

J. G. R. 




O Sir Pi It! she said. 

O sir — I — I m married cJftady 



Copyright, Service &■ Paton, 1897. 



Illustration to » Vanity Fair" by Miss Chris Hammond, by permission 
oj Messrs. Service & Paton. 



Brown's Book-Stall. 



275 



CRUMBS FROM 
A COMMONPLACE BOOK. 

^^ 

" Out of the olde fields, as men saith, 

Cometh the newe corne from yeare to yeare ; 

And out of olde bookes, in good faith, 
Cometh this newe science that men lere." 

All good business men are journalists, noting down 
from day to day the work done, summing this up daily, 
and recording it in weekly, monthly, or annual results. 
Thus, at the end of any period, instead of having a 
vague idea of how he stands, by comparison with the 
last period the man can see at a glance how he stands 
commercially and financially, and whether he is on 
the high road to ruin or success. 

And no matter what is the object of a man's pursuit, 
whether it is commercial success, the building up of 
a fortune, or the attainment of intellectual knowledge, 
the rule given by the immortal Captain Cuttle — 
" When found, make a note of it" — will be found to 
contribute largely to success. It does not matter much 
what the it is, if only it is a new sensation, a new fact, 
or a new idea — make a note of it, and carry it to your 
debit account of loss, or to the credit side of gain. 

When an idea gets into the mind, it offers itself first 
in a will-o'-the-wispish, tantalizing sort of way. It 
comes and goes in a hide-and-seek manner, revealing 
itself in glimpses which are neither clear enough nor 
prolonged enough to make that kind of impression on 
the memory which is necessary to fix it. But if you 
catch the tricksy thing, and once set it in form, 
pinning it to the paper, no matter how roughly, it is 
your own property for good and all — the definite 
impression is secured. So as you go through the 
world, or peruse a book, use your pen as a kodak, 
and take snap-shots as you read or walk — 

" In reading authors if you find 
Bright passages which strike the mind, 
And which perhaps you may have reason 
To think of at another season, 
Don't be contented with the sight, 
But put them down in black and white." 

And so you will find that — 

" When Time who steals your years away 
Will steal your pleasures too, 
The records of the past will stay 
And half your joys renew," 



" Men attach more or less importance to past and 
future events according as they are more or less 
engaged in action and the busy scenes of life. Those 
who have a fortuue to make, or are in pursuit of rank 
and power, think little of the past, for it does not 
contribute greatly to their views ; those who have 
nothing to do but to think, take nearly the same 
interest in the future. The contemplation of the one 
is as delightful and real as that ol the other ; but 
the remembrance of it is left. The past still lives in 
the memory of those who have leisure to look back 
upon the way they have trod, and can from it ' catch 
glimpses which may make them less forlorn.' The 
turbulence of action must point to the future ; it is 
only in the quiet innocence of shepherds, in the 
simplicity of pastoral ages that a tomb was found with 
the inscription — ' I also was an Arcadian.' " 

IV. Hazzlit, 1 7/8- 1830. " Table Talk." 




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276 



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HE Old Meeting House 
has disappeared and in 
its place a Modern 
Church has been erected, 
andyet the old-fashioned 
barn-like building with 
its back to the main 
thoroughfare has mem- 
ories connected with it 
which are worthy of remembrance. It was 
difficult to know how to gain access to it. At 
each gable there were huge clumsy wooden 
gates, and when these were opened there was 
a narrow pathway leading to the main entrance, 
entirely hid from public view. On entering, 
there were two passages, right and left, to 
stairs leading to the galleries, while the sitt- 
ings in the area were protected from draughts 
by high wooden partitions along the back 
seats, and although the interior of the build- 
ing was primitive and old-fashioned, there 
was an air of comfort about it which, 
from the exterior, would never have been 
expected. The pulpit was of the old type, 
and above it a pretty large sounding board, 
on the top of which was the figure of a dove 
with outstretched wings and an olive branch 
in its bill — a great attraction to children, and 
meant to illustrate a remarkable event in 
Bible story. In this old building a congrega- 
tion, fit though few, worshipped, and many 
of them recalled to memory the inspira- 
tion and impulses for good which they had 



received there, and which was the birthplace 
of a new and spiritual life. For within these 
walls they had listened to the fervent and 
persuasive pleadings of James Templeton, 
the bluff yet sympathetic Robert Sedgwick, 
the quaint and original preaching of Peter 
Robertson of Craigdam, the powerful elo- 
quence of Dr. Alex. Fletcher of London, the 
glowing periods of Dr. Robson of G^sgow, 
the finished and popular discourses of Dr. 
Joseph Brown, then of Dalkeith, the poetic 
fancy and intense earnestness of W. B. Robert- 
son of Irvine, the apostolic fervour and zeal 
of Rev. James Robertson of Newington, the 
bright and brilliant utterances of George 
Gilfillan of Dundee, and many others, while 
numbers of the ablest and most successful 
Foreign Missionaries gave stirring accounts 
of their failures and their victories in those 
heathen lands in which they laboured and 
were to labour. At the time I knew it, an 
excellent and worthy man was the minister, 
and if he had no "blue blood in his veins" he 
had what was infinitely better, the inherited 
piety of the author of the Self-Interpreting 
Bible, Rev. John Brown of Haddington. In 
addition to his pastoral work, he was Lecturer 
on Botany in King's College, and thus supple- 
mented the modest stipend which the con- 
gregation paid him of one hundred and 
twenty pounds a year. He was a thin, wiry 
man with a pleasant expression of face, alert 
and quick in his movements, yet his manner 
was at once gracious and gentlemanly. With a 
highly cultured mind, and a ready gift of 
speech, he had the art of communicating to 
others what he knew, with rare ability and 
success. This knowledge he willingly placed 



278 



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279 



at the service of his fellow citizens, and 
delivered courses of popular lectures on 
scientific subjects, which were largely attended 
and highly appreciated. Wherever Rev. J. C. 
Brown was, and in whatever he was engaged, 
he was always the scholar, the gentleman, and 
the Christian. 

Behind the Church, or more properly at 
the front, a few feet from the entrance door, 
along a wall was a building with a slanting 
roof. This curious structure was divided and 
had two entrances; it was also dignified by the 
imposing title of Session House. One of the 
apartments was about 12 feet long and 8 feet 
broad, the lower part of the roof being about 
5J feet high and the back about 8 feet. In 
this apartment classes met, the prayer meet- 
ings were held, and the elders and managers 
transacted the business of the church. The 
elders were not a large body, and the majority 
were old men or considerably past middle 
life. Some of them were outstanding in the 
high Christian character which they evinced, 
for the faith which they displayed, and the 
gifts and graces by which their lives were 
adorned. They might be at a loss to speak 
to their fellow men, but when speaking to 
God in prayer they had free utterance, deep 
reverence, and unobtrusive piety. 

At the meetings of Session, there some- 
times emerged incidents which had a touch 
of humour in them. On one occasion, a 
Deputation from the Synod waited on the 
Session to recommend the particular scheme 
which they represented to their interest and 
liberality. Various members expressed their 
warmest interest with the object, and at last, 
after a pause, one of the oldest members 
made a movement as if he would speak. 
The Moderator gently encouraged him, and 
with great trepidation, and no little hesitation, 
the old man stuttered out the following brief 
speech: — "Weel, gentlemen, I'm sure we're a 
verra pleased to see ye — and wid like to dee 
what we can — but we're a poor congregation 
— nearly a' composed o' servan' lasses — so we 
caana dee much.*' He could say no more, he 
was literally gasping for breath, pausing long 
between the words, and his face suffused 
with blushes. All the time he spoke, the 
large coloured pocket handkerchief which he 



held in his hands was twisted with tremendous 
energy, just as he used to twist the flax, for 
he had been a flax dresser. Yet this man 
so diffident, so gentle, so kindly, unable almost 
to express coherently what he intended before 
others, could repeat the whole of " Paradise 
Lost," and delighted in giving long quotations 
from Milton's great work. 

It was customary at the meetings of Session 
for the minister to intimate who was to assist 
him at the next Communion. On one 
occasion he said that he was to be 
assisted by his brother Mr. McArthur. 
One member, in tones of disgust, hissing 
through his teeth, asked, Is that the man 
from Tough ? laying special emphasis on 
Tough. Yes, was the reply quietly answered 
by the Moderator as if no feeling had been 
manifested by the abrupt and too frequent 
cantankerous querist. The man from Tough 
was a very distinguished student at the Uni- 
versity ; gave up preaching for teaching ; 
assisted the late Professor Robertson Smith 
as sub-editor of the Encyclopaedia Brittanica; 
on the completion of that work, went to 
America to edit the Century Dictionary, and 
is now, I believe, conductor of the American 
edition of Reviezv of Reviews, and recently 
adapted " The Little Minister " for the 
American stage. 

One Sunday afternoon the minister, 
having finished his sermon, gave out the 
hymn. He read it through, and then gave 
out the first two lines and sat down. There 
was no response. The precentor was sound 
asleep, with his arm leaning on the desk, his 
hand and fingers passingthrough his longlocks 
of hair, and with a nodding head, he had to the 
congregation a rather ludicrous appearance. 
One of the older members of the choir stood 
up, punching him with the hymn-book, and 
finding it unavailing to awaken him, he led 
the singing, and so soundly did the precentor 
sleep that the first verse was almost finished 
when he awoke, looking around him com- 
pletely bewildered and confused. The 
incident was the occasion of much talk, and 
the culprit was suitably and affectionately 
admonished by the minister. 

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" Full of local interest." — Aberdeen Journal. 

Pri (Crown 8vo), SIXPENC 

Back Volumes, NINEPENCE. 



Established 1830. 



W. & J. Walker, 

Umbrella 
fllanuiaetaf'er's, 

98 Union Street, 
&bertmn. 



Brown's Book-Stall. 



281 



the elder or manager whose turn it might be 
to attend to the collection. The plate was 
fixed on the front of a glass door, which 
opened into a seat, where the person sat 
who had charge. After the service 

was begun, the plate was removed by 
lifting one seat and putting down another, 
and thus the guardian of the cash reversed 
his position, as he turned his back to the 
door and his face to the minister. Im- 
mediately above was a short gas bracket 
which was lighted during the winter time. 
On this occasion the occupant of the seat 
was tall and had a heathery head of hair. 
On standing during prayer his body had a 
stooping inclination, by-and-by he straightened 
himself up, and the long hair touched the 
gas and immediately flared up and smelt 
strongly. The poor man with eyes shut 
never observed till, standing in the pew beside 
him, I clapped my hands on his head and 
extinguished the flame, which arrested 
attention and caused some smiling on the 
part of those who witnessed it. Exactly a 
year afterwards, the same man had the 
same experience. I was wicked enough to 
watch and wait to see if the occurrence of 
the former year would be repeated, and it 
was. On coming out of church I recom- 
mended him to carry a large extinguisher 
when engaged in such duty, and my sug- 
gestion was anything but well received. 

The Beadle was an interesting character, 
small of stature, with a happy countenance 
and always a radiant smile ; he went about 
his work very quietly and circumspectly. At 
all meetings of Session he was present occupy- 
ing a seat near the door, and with his working 
jacket on, similar to Eton, but moleskin 
instead of cloth, he always in his appearance 
reminded me of Tom Pinch in " Martin 
Chuzzlewit.' On one occasion I passed the 
door in which for many years he had been 
employed as a trustworthy and valued assis- 
tant. He said he wanted to speak to me, 
and in his quiet earnest tone he confidentially 
informed me that he was sure Johnnie was 
growing " dottled." Johnnie was the familiar 
name he gave his employer. A few days 
after this I met his master, and among other 
things he told me, he was sure Magnus, his old 



assistant and the Church Beadle, was growing 
"dottled," and asked me very seriously 
whether I had ever observed it. I said I 
had not, but I was rather tickled at the 
estimate they had formed of each other as to 
their mental state, expressed in exactly the 
same words. 

It was observed that the church door 
collections were being tampered with, between 
the afternoon service and the evening Sabbath 
School. Certain coins had been put into the 
plate, and when the collection was counted 
they were absent. This was only known to 
two or three, and having talked the matter 
over, it was agreed to set a watch after the 
dismissal of the congregation so as to secure 
the pilferer. One of the number volunteered 
that when the congregation was dismissed in 
the afternoon, he would act as a detective 
and go into one of the back seats and lie 
down on the floor so as to be perfectly con- 
cealed. He did so one afternoon, and after 
being in that uncomfortable position for 
some time, he heard a step coming quietly 
and stealthily along. Nearer and nearer it 
came to where he was hid, the door of the 
seat was opened, and as the female attend- 
ant, for it was she, was placing the cover on 
the bookboard, she trampled on the prostrate 
form of the watcher and gave such a shriek 
as made the empty church ring again, while the 
amateur detective gathered himself up and 
explained as he best could the pitiable plight 
he was in, and the reason of his appearance 
in such a questionable position. After a 
little the explanation was satisfactory, because 
it was made quite clear that no suspicion 
rested upon her or hers. I was waiting 
to hear the result, and when he appeared 
dusty and agitated I thought he must 
have had a considerable scuffle with the 
thief, but when he was able to tell me 
his experience, I could not restrain a 
hearty laugh at his expense. Instead of 
further watching, a new lock and key was 
procured for the Cash Box, and there was no 
more missing coins. 

The most of those to whom I have referred 
have passed away and a new generation has 
taken their place. The building which now 
occupies the site of the Old Meeting House 



28; 



Brown's Book-Stall. 



has a large congregation, and the various 
agencies of Belmont Street United Presbyter- 
ian Church are worked with great zeal and 
success under the appreciated pastorate of 
one who has preached in both churches, Rev. 
D. Beatt, D.D., the able and esteemed suc- 
cessor of the worthy and well remembered 
Rev. J. C. Brown, LL.D. 

A. S. C. 




THE SONG OF THE WHEEL. 

« it's rare to ride on the Pentland tide, 
Wm ^ s it races through the skerries, 

And the sheets tight haul, on the dying 
yawl, 
Where the grim roost swirls and harries. 

On a trotting horse, o'er a well-turfed course, 

When its springy hoofs are beating, 
Or joy in the jar of a jaunting car, 

And the dirl of a dogcart fleeting. 

To rip and score the surface hoar 

Of the new ice 'neath the moon, 
Or shoot on high in a bath of sky 

On the drift in a big balloon. 

When the whip's lash cracks from the hunters' backs, 
And you bound with the baying dogs, 

Or tear distract down a cataract 
On a raft of drifted logs. 

When you jolt and pant on an elephant, 

It's a pleasure dubious, very, 
Or rock in the land where the fields grow sand, 

On a howderin' dromedary. 

You may trek through a belt of scraggy veldt 

In a lumbering bullock waggon, 
Or breathless glide down a mile-long slide, 

Canadian toboggan. 

To urge the sledge o'er the frozen sedge, 
Where the Norway nights are starry, 

Or spank amain o'er an Indian plain, 
In a rickshaw or a gharri. 

Though swift the flood, the horse is good, 

The elephant commodious ; 
On the air-girt wheel of a bicycle, 

Comparisons are odious. 



With the rooks first caw at morning daw, 

With the first blue curl of smoke, 
When the night winds whine, from the shivering pine, 

Has gone with the night-frog's croak. 

You are first astir, with the muffled whirr 
Of your wheels in the drowsy street, 

And the daw and dove on the roofs above 
Are the only folks you meet. 

Down the beech-bound lane, where a trinkling rain 

Has sponged the dusty leaves, 
And the cottage sleeps where the sparrow peeps, 

And chirrups in the eaves. 

There a white tail blinks, as a rabbit jinks 

From the clover to the fern, 
And the willow wren, from the reedy fen, 

Flutes to the bubbling burn. 

By field and flood, by wold and wood, 

Round many a bend and twine ; 
But of all things best is your feet in rest 

Down a three-mile-long incline. 

With a path uncrackt, like a cinder track, 

No rut in road or lane, 
No click nor creak, no axle squeak, 

And a silent driving-chain. 

Then on and on, the morning's gone, 

The sun is hot and high ; 
O'er hill and howe, the cattle low, 

And the sunburnt herdboys cry. 

The great cartload jolts down the road, 

The horse tugs at the harrow, 
The lazy gulls divide the spoils 

Where the ploughman lifts the furrow. 

Then up a steep, dismount and creep, 

Where the bog-myrtle and thyme 
Their odours blow, and you see the snow, 

On a distant peak sublime. 

Then over the ridge, and across the bridge, 
Where the speckled hill trout's splashing ; 

Anon you steer, where the startled deer 

Through the crackling brushwood's crashing. 

Where the grey crags loom through the pinewood 
gloom, 

And roar with the waterfall, 
Where the squirrels leap, and the lizards creep, 

You can hear and see them all. 



Brown's Book-Stall. 



283 



Then on and on, the day is gone, 

The red west glares and gleams, 
It gilds the bough, and the lake below, 

And burnishes the streams. 

From the wind-stirred grass, as you swiftly pass, 

To his love the corncrake calls, 
And the plover's wail to the lonely dale, 

From the furzy upland falls. 

The cushats coo their vespers low 

From the spruce's lofty spire, 
And the yellow-yite its shrill good night 

Chirrs from the humming wire. 

The deepening shade is black where laid, 

In the hollows of the hedge, 
While stirs the gloom, with the bittern's boom, 

As it drums in the marish sedge. 

The woodcock's cry thrills eerily, 

As it hawks on the gloaming moth, 

And the black bat flits, as the brown owl sits 
On the fir by the darkening path. 

Through chink and pane, see wax and wane 

The flash of the flickering fire, 
Where the housewife sits and darns or knits, 

And nods o'er her clicking wire. 

The stars gleam out, and a joyous shout 

Declares the welcome inn, 
And you call for beer, cool, brisk and clear, 

In a cosy room within. 

Deux. 



BOOKS TO READ. 

" The Master of Craigens " is one of the books 
with which you might while away very pleasantly a 
winter evening. Beginning with a tragedy, continu- 
ing with a mystery, and ending with a marriage, it 
gives some pleasant pictures of scenery and life among 
the Campsie Hills. It is a good Scotch story, not, we 
are thankful to say, of the Kailyard type. 

It is well illustrated, well got up, and published by 
Oliphant, Anderson & Ferrier at 3/6. Cash price at 
Brown's Book -Stall, 2/8. 



From the same publishing house comes the famous 
Scots series, the latest volume of which, on Robert 
Louis Stevenson, by Margaret Moyes Black, has been 
very successful. 

Speaking of the Kailyard school of literature reminds 
us of a nicely got up volume of verse recently published 
(price 5/-) entitled "Burns from Heaven.'' Friend 
Robin comes on a return visit to the Earth, and on 
the subject of the Kailyarders expresses himself thus : — 



ANOTHER OLD FIRM. 

Since we began some years ago to publish the history 
of the foundation and growth of the firm of A. Brown 
& Co., several old firms in the city have given more 
or less complete accounts of their early days. The 
latest contribution to this class of local literature is 
a charming booklet issued by Messrs. W. & K. Jopp 
under the modest title of "Wine List," — a title which 
may give some indication of the treasures in their 
cellars, but gives no indication of the internal attrac- 
tions of the booklet, which, besides two coloured 
illustrations, contains some half-dozen beautiful re- 
productions of old engravings ; together with a sketch, 
all too short, of the firm. This was founded in 1817 
by Mr. William Allaidyce, one of whose ancestors, 
"John Allardes, was chief magistrate of Aberdeen 
1697 to 1701, while Provost James Jopp, of Cotton, 
wine and cloth merchant (a curious combination) held 
the same high office in 1768. It was this latter 
gentlemen who, in 1773, enjoyed the distinction of 
presenting the famous Dr. Johnson with the Freedom 
of the City while he was on his historical Northern 
Tour." 

It was also interesting to us to learn that "Jopp's," 
which is the whisky we ourselves drink, is a blend of 
Northern whiskies concocted by one of the original 
partners long before northern whiskies had attained 
their present prosperity, which showed that he was 
" a judge, and a good judge too." 



BROWN'S for BIBLES. 

53-UNION STREET-85 



284 Brown's Book-Stall. 



PERTHSHIRE CONSTITUTIONAL says:-Mr. Reid and the Editor of the "Book-Stall" are to 
be jointly and severally congratulated on these bright and valuable Notes on Black and White Artists, 

WI LL BE PUBLISHED IMMEDIATELY. 

AT THE SIGN OF THE 
BRUSH AND PEN: 

Being Notes on Some Black and White Artists of To-day. 

By J. G. REID. 

In Handsome Cover specially designed by Mr. WILLIAM SMITH. 
Price, 1/6 Net; Post Free, \/9; Cloth, 2/6 Net; Post Free, 2/9. 



The Volume contains Articles on and Interviews with the following Artists : — 
SIR GEORGE REID, P.R.S.A. T. E. DONNISON. W. RALSTON. 

A. S. BOYD, R.S.W. A. S. HARTRICK. WALTER SICKERT. 

A. CHASEMORE. FRED. T. JANE. E. J. SULLIVAN. 

FRANK CRAIG. HARRY PAYNE. W. F. THOMAS. 

The Articles are very Fully Illustrated with Portraits of the Artists and Specimens of their Work — most 
of the Drawings having been specially executed for publication in the Volume. 



PRESS NOTICES- 



Dundee Courier says : — 

Cleverly written in a light, humorous vein. 

These articles on the black and white brigade are 
of much value. 

Full of attractive matter. 
Perthshire Constitutional says : — 

Is distinctly good, and is a vast credit to the 
enterprise of Bon -Accord. 

Written in Mr. Reid's brightest style. 

These " Notes on the Black and White Artists 
of To- Day " are of much interest and value. 



Scots Pictorial says :— 

Browrfs Book-Stall, an interesting little Aber- 
deen monthly, is printing a series of freshly-written 
articles on the black and white artistes of to-day. 

People's Journal says : — 

Is thoroughly deserving of perusal, and is 
extremely interesting because of its illustrations. 

The Peterhead Sentinel say*:— 

It is decidedly literary in style, and has a most 
refreshing air of independence about it. 



Aberdeen : A. Brown & Co. 

Edinburgh : John Menzies & Co. London : Simpkin Marshall & Co 



Brown's Book-Stall. 



285 



AT THE SIGN OF THE BRUSH AND PEN. 




THE SEAL ROW. 

By permission of Messrs. Geo. Newnes, Ltd. 
WW 

No. 16.— MR. JAMES AFFLECK SHEPHERD. 



Heap on more wood ! the wind is chill. 

But let it whistle as it will 

We'll keep our Christmas merry still. 

Marmion, Canto vi. 

OW is the Winter of our Dis- 
content made worse than 
ever by the Coloured Supple- 
ment. So might the Great 
Immortal have written had 
he lived in these days when 
the printed monstrosity popu- 
larly known as the ' ' Presenta- 
tion Plate," in one hundred 
and nine distinct tints, adds a gloom to every book- 
seller's window. 

God rest you Merry Gentlemen, 
Let nothing you dismay — 




says the old carol, but h 



ow can w 



e at a season which 



sees alike the heyday of the Christmas Number, the 
Christmas Card, the Coloured Supplement, the 
Mistletoe Bough, the Plum Pudding, and the Seidlitz 
Powder? That the Christinas Card ought to be 
(though unfortunately it isn't) as defunct as the Dodo, 
is financially obvious ; that the Christmas Number, 
except in a rare instance which need not here be more 
particularly referred to — for our readers are a discern- 
ing race — is a delusion and a mockery, no one who 
has cumbered the house with these misnamed pro- 
ductions, replete with as much Christmas flavour as 
there are raisins in the Landlady's Christmas pudding, 
will deny ; that the Mistletoe Bough is but a by-way to 
the Law Courts, and heavy damages awarded by a 
tender-hearted jury, is a conceit that would be happy 
had it an element of truth in it ; and that the race of 
the Presentation Plate is run is an accepted fact which 
not even the limited intelligence of a Town Coun- 




MR. J. A. SHEPHERD. 

From an unpublished drawing by himself. 




\ * s, 



A S 



f- 



Brown's Book-Stall. 



287 



cillor could fail to appreciate. Reform, however, 
comes slowly, and, warned by the hapless fate of the 
young Emperor of China, we have decided to follow 
the advice of the great Erasmus— festina lente, for 
Public Opinion is an Empress- Dowager of the most 
bigoted type. Our motto then is, "One at a time," 
and therefore, having in a measure justified a further 
lease of life to the Christmas Number by the present 
issue, we have, for the moment, left the Christmas 
Card and the Mistletoe Bough for another occasion 
and briefed ourselves (at enormous expense) in the 
cause of the Coloured Supplement. That a time- 
honoured institution may not go altogether to the wall 
as if it were merely a Fisheries Exhibition, we have 
endeavoured to show how the thing can be done : In 
witness whereof we beg respectfully to call the 
attention of our readers and, incidentally also that of 
Messrs. Pears, the Proprietors of sundry illustrated 
papers, and such like minor firms who have attempted 
the Presentation Plate and only produced a rather 
poor substitute for a bathroom wall-paper, to the 
daintily coloured and really humorous bit of work, 
which, with characteristic kindness, Mr. J. A. Shep- 
herd has specially executed for us, and which 
accompanies this number. 
* * * -is-** * •* * •* 

Having got the foregoing lengthy preamble off my 
mind, it may not be amiss to write something about 
Mr. Shepherd himself, which, after all — if apology be 
needed — was the original and primary object of these 
notes. For the purpose I have, so to speak, bearded 
the Lion in his Den, or rather in his Menagerie, for 
Mr. Shepherd when at home is surrounded by about 
as "endless stocks" of animals of one sort or 
another as there were "beautiful frocks" in the mind's 
eye of the right-down reg'lar royal queen that was to 
be — the net result of which somewhat hazardous 
enterprise is hereafter truly set forth. 

Bromley isn't at all a bad sort of place. Compared 
with Aberdeen it is, of course, poor, for as yet it ha s 
not seriously considered the advisability of erecting 
either a statue to Byron or a Public Slaughter-house, 
and it lacks the civilizing influences of Municipal 
Tramway Stations and City Lectures of the most 
enlightened type. Put in tabular form, its attractions 
may be summed up as follows : — 

{a). I Bank. 
{d). 3 Newspapers. 

{c). A College for Clergymen's Widows. 
{d). A Medicinal Spring "strongly impreg- 
nated with chalybeate." 



It lies about eight miles S.E. of London by rail, its 
Market Day is Thursday, and, as the Crosby Hall 
legend puts it, "there you will find him"— the gentle- 
man represented by the pronoun being, it is perhaps 
unnecessary to explain, Mr. James Affleck Shepherd 
and no other. My arrival passed off quietly. There 
were no Venetian Masts, and the population, number- 
ing, according to the latest Returns, 15,154 souls all 
told, behaved with considerable self-restraint, and I 
was allowed to proceed to " Lomond," wherein Mr. 
Shepherd has his dwelling place and habitation, with- 
out being pressed to accept — "graciously" or other- 
wise — a bouquet of thistles or any other appropriate 
floral offering. 

Mr. Shepherd was unfeignedly glad to see me for 
my own sake (which is not to be wondered at), but he 
shewed no enthusiasm when I suggested that he 
should, for the moment, imagine that he was M. 
Louis de Rougemont, nee Grin, and that I was the 
Editor of the Daily Chronicle. Thereafter ensued 
the following conversation transcribed, in the interests 
of Truth, from the original shorthand notes. 



Scene : A Drawing Room— of the Louis Quatorze 

period. 

Dramatis Personae : 
Mr. James Affleck Shepherd : Artist, and 

Victim of Circumstances. 
The Grand Inquisitor : A Mere Journalist. 

The Grand Inquisitor {cheerily) — I have come as 
a sort of Press Copy of our old friend Sandy McLaus, 
Mr. Shepherd, to wish you, in advance, a Merry 
Christmas, so that you, in turn, may— quite innocently 
— be the means of affording about the festive season a 
happy half-hour or so to the readers of Brown's Book- 
Stall. 

Mr. J. A. Shepherd {with an air of protest) —But 
I have never heard of the rag I mean the publication 
you name, and — 

The G. I.— The loss, I assure you, is yours. 
Allow me to hand you an advance copy containing our 
"interview." It may be helpful in showing you 
where you can, with advantage, make telling replies. 

Mr. J. A. S.— Really, really ! How enterprising ! 
But {referring to the "proof ) what am I to say next? 

The G. I. — There is rather a seasonable joke about 
my making mince-meat of you which I thought of work- 
ing in hereabouts, but it would only be appreciated on 
this side of the Border, and would have to be expur- 



288 



Brown's Book- Stall. 



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NOW IS THE TIME TO PLANT 

HYACINTHS, TULIPS, NARCISSUS, IRIS, LILIUMS, CROCUS, 
SNOWDROPS, &c. Send for Catalogue* 

ALSO ROSES, HERBACEOUS PLANTS. ETC. 

Fruit Trees, Gooseberry and Currant Bushes, Shrubs, Ornamental Trees, etc. 
CATALOGUE NOW READY-SEND FOR ONE. 



WEDDING BOUQUETS and SPRAYS of the Choicest Flowers made up 

in the Latest Style. 

MEMORIAL WREATHS and CROSSES made on the Shortest Notice. 



J AS. COCKER & SONS, 

FLORISTS AND SEEDSMEN, 

130 Union Street, ABERDEEN. 

NURSERIES— MORNINGFIELD and SUNNYPARK. 

€very pescription, 0/ household furniture and Jroniriongery. 



Comfortable 

Easy Ghairs 

IN 

Tapestry 

and 

Other Coverings 
From 35/- 




EBONY 

Writing £able. 

Artistic 
Lacquer 
Decoration, 

35/= 



REMOVALS BY ROAD OR RAIL IN OWN COVERED VAN. 



R, W. WISHART, 19-21 Rose Street, ABERDEEN. 

Branch : Henderson's Buildings, South Market Street. 

Works— 28 and 30 Summer Street. Telephone 6x7. 



Brown's Book-Stall. 



gated, as unintelligible, from the Scotch edition. But, 
merely as a matter of form, Mr. Shepherd, you might 
tell me something about yourself. You began life at 
quite an early age. 

Mr. J. A. S. — Most people do, I believe. How- 
ever, if you consult any reliable authority on the 
point, you will learn that I was born in London on or 
about the 29th November, 1867. 

The G. I. — Just a few days before the Fenian 
Explosions at Clerkenwell prison. 

[Mr. Shepherd seemed surprised, but I did not 
mention that I had consulted my "Haydn" before 
starting.] 

Mr. J. A. S. — I remember them well. A few 
days afterwards, if my memory serves me, one hundred 
and thirteen thousand, six hundred and seventy-four 
special constables had been enrolled in the United 
Kingdom. 

[/ only gave a pained look, but it catight Mr. 
Shepherd's eye.] 

Mr. J. A. S. — That is to say, of course, I have 
heard all about it. 

The G. I. {simply) — Thank you so much. I was 
feeling uneasy about the accuracy of this interview. 
But, pray go on. 

Mr. J. A. S. — I began my artistic training at the 
age of sixteen by being articled to Mr. Alfred Bryan, 
the very famous caricaturist, for a term of three years. 
Of Mr. Bryan I cannot speak too highly, for he is one 
of the best of men. I have always likened him to 
Charles Dickens, for he possesses the great master's 
humour and observation to a remarkable degree. 

The G. I. — I may tell you in confidence, Mr. 
Shepherd, that he is a "marked man" — that is to 
say, he is the next victim on my list, and has promised 
something in the way of pictorial matter that ought to 
make our local Artists' Society and the National 
Gallery green with envy. 

Mr. J. A. S. — Mr. Bryan is unequalled in his own 
line, and I find in him more genuine humour than in 
any other black and white man. 

The G. I. — And at those tender years did you first 
make the acquaintance of the playful hippopotami ? 

Mr. J. A. S. — Yes ; during this time we spent a 
day every week sketching hard at the Zoo. 

The G. I. — And thus, by a process of evolution, 
from drawing men and animals alternately, you came 
to produce a sort of combination of both, as in that 
almost human Stork I see there, and which, by the 
way, would serve to illustrate in the pages of the 



Book-Stall in a very convincing manner your clever 
method of work. 

[Mr. Shepherd bowed pleasantly. That he rose nobly 
to the occasion, however, our full page illustration will 




From 



Gillie Callum. 

drawing by Mr. J. A. Shepherd, by fterviiss'on 
of Messrs. Newnes, Ltd. 



testify. And here I might, in parenthesis, express my 
indebtedness, firstly to his charming wife for graciously 
lending the sketch of Mr. Shepherd by himself which 



290 



Brown's Book-Stall. 



FITTED TRAVELLING BAGS, 

From 45/- to 7 Guineas. 



FITTED 

SUIT 
CASES. 




FITTED 

GLADSTONE 

BAGS. 



FITTED MOROCCO BAGS. 





Ladies' Hand Bags with Purse, 
from 7/6 to 21/ = 



Ladies' Hand Bags from 3/6. 





Cigar and Cigarette 
Cases, 2/- upwards. 



IP. 

■ ■■■.■^■■■.■i^iuP 

Letter Wallets, 1/- to 12/- 




Cigar and Cigarette Cases, 
2/- to 12/6. 



A. BROWN & CO., 83 and 85 Union Stret, Aberdeen, 



Brown\s Book-Stall. 



291 



we are fortunate in being able to reproduce ; secondly, 
to Mr. Shepherd personally for the other original un- 
published drawings which accompany these notes ; and 
thirdly, to the kindly courtesy of Sir George Newnes 
and the Art Editor of the Strand Magazine for 
permission to give some characteristic illustra- 
tions from one of Mr. Shepherd' s 
most successful works, " Zig Zags at 
the Zoo" the drawings for which, 
with text " written up " to them by 
Mr. Arthur Morrison, subsequently 
famous as the author of " A Child 
of the Jago" and " Tales of Mean 
Streets," first appeared in the 
Strand, and subsequently in book 
form. ] 

The G. I. {having duly returned 
thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Shepherd) 
— And that was all the Art training 
you ever received ? 

Mr. J. A. S. — Yes, practically 
all. Having, as Mr. Gilbert puts 
it, " served a span," I started " on 
my own," working for a couple of 
years on the staff of Moonshine. I 
was also a frequent contributor to 
Judy, then belonging to Mr. Gilbert 
Dalziel, and a sort of nursery of 
"all the talents" in Black and 
White. Probably no paper has 
ever had at one time on its staff so 
brilliant an array of men, already 
famous or destined to become so. 
Just fancy ! — there were Maurice 
Greiffenhagen, and that brilliant 
actor-artist, Bernard Partridge ; 
William Parkinson, Alfred Bryan, 
Hal Ludlow, A. Chasemore, and 
the genial and kindly W. F. 
Thomas, all now on the staff of the 
Half-Holiday ; poor Fred. Barnard ; 
Charles Keene's only successor, 
Raven Hill; Fred. Pegram, most 
dainty of black and white men ; H. R 
known to the readers of the Strand; F, 
and that inimitable artist, Leslie Willson. Some time 
afterwards, the Strand Magazine was launched, and 
I have been connected with it almost from the 
commencement. Beginning with some odd articles 
on animal life, I subsequently contributed the "Zig 



Zags at the Zoo" which ran through twenty-six 
numbers. 

The G. I. {partaking of refreshment) — And helped 
not a little to win for the Strand a firm hold on the 
public favour during the days of its infancy. 

[Mr. Shepherd was too modest to permit of my saying 




No P«-Q.w. 



r,-.r., bu.o 



4* 



From an unpublished drawing by Mr. J. A. Shepherd, specially done 
for " Brotuns Book-Stall." 



Millar, so well 
II. Townsend : 



this without protest ; but I assured him it was not for 
publication, and he seemed satisfied. ~\ 

Mr. J. A. S.— The "Zig Zags," as you are 
doubtless aware, were subsequently published in book 
form, and were followed by "Zig Zag Fables," after- 
wards issued in colour by Messrs. Gardner, 
Darton & Co. 



292 



Brown's Book-Stall. 



PORTHAITUKE BY EhECTRlG LIGHT. 



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393 UNION STREET, ABERDEEN. 



Some Christmas Cards and a Moral. 



"Christmas comes but once a Year " says the old rhyme, 
and, with an irony worthy of inclusion in Mr. Hardy's collec- 
tion of Life's little ones, it add " And when it comes it brings 
Good Cheer." " Good Cheer " is one of those vague, uncertain 
sort of things— just like a Fisheries Exhibition Guarantee — 
which may mean anything ; had exigence of rhyme allowed of 
the substitution of " Christmas Cards," we would have under- 
stood it, for the festive season, if it does nothing else, generally 
brings through the prosaic medium of the Post Office a more or 
less extensive collection of the common or garden variety of 
pasteboard sentiments, while it invariably compels us, who are 
mere males, to devote a considerable portion of our time, and 
i unfortunately) our pen e, to the purchase of certain pictorial 
emblems which, for one brief moment in their inglorious career, 
will adorn the mantle-shelf of the Misses Brown, Jones, and 
Robinson, and thereafter form part of a parcel of such sent by 
them to some fatuous ward — the receipt of which will be duly 
chronicled in the local press. 



Such in brief is the story of the ordinary Christmas Card, the 
fate of which trembled in the balance. Then a notable thing 
happened. Messrs. Raphael Tuck & Sons, premier card- 
producers to the Oueen, nobility, laity and clergy of all denomina- 
tions, took the matter in hand, and, seeing that the bit of paste- 
board with a hitherto unknown plant, a shivering Cupid, and a 
(juatrain of verse calculated to land one in a Breach of Promise 
.^ its sole adornment, was likely to share the untoward 
fate of St. Valentine, boldly stepped into the breach and pro- 
uced a -erie^ of cards that are really worthy of preservation by 
the fortunate recipient In short, thanks to the energy and 
enterprise of this firm, the Christmas Card is, like Richard, 
it>elf again, and, let the man who has not too much money and 
five and thirty expectant female cousins declare, an' he will, 



that the custom of sending cards at Christmas is now as obsolete 
as a Philippine Island postage stamp with the Infant King of 
Spain's head on it, the Post Office returns shew conclusively 
that the Christmas Card flourishes once more like the cedar in 
Lebanon. Nor need we marvel at this, for Messrs. Raphael 
Tuck & Sons have this year eclipsed themselves, and among 
Christmas Car 1 makers stand in the front rank — the moral of 
which, to those in want of a good thing, is, of course, obvious 

MESSRS. Morgan, photographers, 393 Union Street, have on 
view in their show-cases a number of examples of portraits taken 
by the electric light, which for roundness, combined with soft- 
ness and abundance of detail, will compare favourably with 
anything in the photographic line taken under the most favour- 
able conditions of daylight. A personal call at Messrs. Morgan's 
studio resulted in our being shown the installation in working 
order. The light comes from four sets of carbons working in 
series, and is so arranged that while the direct light is quite 
concealed, the reflections from the arcs cover a large space, and 
throw a soft, diffused light round the sitter of great actinic 
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We found on trial that the light caused no eye strain, and that 
there were no perceptible heat rays. We have no doubt that 
this convenience to the public will be largelyftaken jadvantage 
of during the winter season. 



(printer ano (pu0ft00er. 

18 (Union terrace, 
ilBerbeen. 




Browns Book-Stall. 



293 



The G. I. {feeling that the season of goodwill towards 
men was approaching] — A capital volume, containing, 
if I mistake not, some delightful pictures of cocks and 
hens which are worthy of Caldicott at his best. 

Mr. J. A. S.— Waiving the point about Caldicott, 
your mention of cocks and hens reminds me of rather 
an amusing experience. As you can see (and hear) 
for yourself, I keep a small menagerie about the 
premises, including a fair supply of fowls. I am 
consumedly fond of hens, for I think they are extra- 
ordinary birds for expression. They seem to show the 
toils and tribulations connected with the production of 
eggs in a marvellous degree. Some, you will note, 
have their mouths curved upwards and appear to rise 
superior to the worries incidental to the incubating 
period, while others have the curve proceeding down- 
wards and look most woe-be-gone and depressed. 

The G. I. — Just as if they had spent their lives in 
interviewing black and white artists. 

Mr. J. A. S. — Or being interviewed — which I 
should say was even a more painful and depressing ex- 
perience. However, to go on with the story : I once 
bought several fowls of various breeds, one of which I 
was compelled to return. 

The G. I. — Backward in the egg production 
business, I suppose. 

Mr. J. A. S.— Oh dear no !— I don't keep fowls 
for profit — at least by means of their eggs. The truth 
is, I didn't like its expression. 

[I apologised at once, excusing myself by explaining 
that I had hitherto failed to realise that at Smithfield, 
as in the Matrimonial Market, History might repeat 
itself, and, as in the case of the "pretty maid " of the 
ballad, the face of a chicken might prove to be its only 
fortune. ] 

Mr. J. A. S. — A similar difficulty seems to have 
presented itself to the worthy farmer who sold me the 
bird, for when I tried to explain my objections to him, 
he replied ' ' Expression ? — I don't know anything 
about that, but she's the best of the lot, and lays a 
beautiful brown egg I " 

The G. I. — In 1893, I believe, you received your 
"call," Mr. Shepherd? 

Mr. J. A. S. — Yes, Mr. Burnand invited me to 
draw for Punch in that year, and I made my debut in 
the "Almanack" for 1894. Some fifty drawings 
followed, including a series of " Animal Spirits," but 
a period of ill health intervening, all work was given 
up except that for the Strand Magazine. At present, 
as you will have seen, I am illustrating a series of 



"Animal Actualities" in its pages — these being 
perfectly authentic anecdotes of animal life (in many 
cases contributed by readers themselves), treated, 
however, with freedom and fancy, more with a view 
to an amusing commentary than to a mere repre- 
sentation of the occurrences. 

The G. I. {becoming, for once, poetical) — 

" He that courts Fortune boldly, makes her kind,' 

says Dryden. Have you any plans for the future, 
Mr. Shepherd? 

Mr. J. A. S. — I have received several requests to 
contribute to American publications, and have also 
been asked to cross the pond, but, so far as I am at 
present able to say, I mean, in the near future, to 
devote most of my time to painting. 

The G. I. — As to your methods of work, Sir, I 
take it that in spite of the fact that you are, so to 
speak, "paid to be funny," you are a most serious 
student of animal life. 

Mr. J. A. S. — My method, so far as I can define 
it, is most sincerely to draw the subject in every 
possible position before caricaturing it, and at times, I 
can assure you, it is hard to make the drawing 
grotesque and give up that which is true to Nature. 
As you can see from these Sketch Books {numerous 
tomes were here tendered in evidence), I have made 
studies in every possible corner of the Animal creation, 
from the fly to the rhinoceros, and endless notes zoo- 
logical, ornithological, and anatomical, so that, simple 
though such a drawing as say, " Gillie Callum " may 
appear, a considerable amount of study of the animal 
kingdom is necessary before one can caricature and at 
the same time retain the natural appearance of the 
subject. 

The G. I. — From a pictorial point of view you 
doubtless prefer certain animals to others. 

Mr. J. A. S. — I have already confessed a predilec- 
tion for the festive fowl. Ducks, on the other hand, 
are expressionless creatures — just a button for an 
eye, a curve of white for a head, and a dab of yellow 
for a bill. Ravens again are delightful — though most 
difficult to portray successfully. But what an eye — 
always brilliant, and capable of innumerable expres- 
sions. They are so deep, and like Joey Bagstock, 
" dev'lish sly." As a matter of fact, I have a theory 
that all black animals are mysterious. For instance, 
there is the black wolf at the Zoo, who never allows 
more than his hind quarters to be seen — slinking into 
his den at the approach of visitors. Then there is the 



*94 



Brown's Book-Stall. 









Gollins' Diaries for 1899. 

A/OW READY. 




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Brown's Book-Stall. 



295 



black cat with its proverbial uncanniness, its sister, 
the black leopard, one of the most saturnine of beasts, 
and the jackdaw and raven, both birds of evil omen. 

The G. I. — And do you find the animal in the 
human or the human in the animal more noticeable? 

Mr. J. A. S.— It would be hard to say. The 
former is often very marked — as for instance, in a 
railway carriage ; man in the corner — hippopotamus ; 
man on left — stork ; on right — pelican; lady opposite 
— an old hen ; meek man squashed in corner — belongs 
to antelope sheds at the Zoo ; Parrot house also left 
and right, and so on. 

The G. I. — Doubtless, during your long study of 
animals you have come across some remarkable 
instances of what might easily be regarded as.something 
more than instinct ? 

Mr. J. A. S. — Let me tell you a story : — Once 
upon a time I possessed a remarkable terrier who had 
not a single redeeming virtue, being treacherous, 
sulky, and spiteful. He was a wonderful diver, how- 
ever, and would perform graceful feats in the middle 
of a pond, or take "headers" from the bank and 
bring stones from the bottom. In short, he would 
have been a perfect treasure for a Showman. As I 
had no thoughts of entering that profession myself, I 
communicated with one of repute in the line, and while 
awaiting his reply, the dog was taken for a dive. 
Down he went, and — would you believe it ? — never 
came up ! Was it suicide or weeds ? At anyrate the 
favourable answer from the Showman came too late — 
the doggie's diving days were over. 

The G. I. — Finally, Mr. Shepherd, you have of 
course been in Scotland, and were duly charmed with 
the land of the mountain and the flood ? 

Mr. J. A. S. — Loch Lomond and its environs I 
found delightful, but — (in a stage whisper) tell it not 
in Gath — breathe it not in the streets of Ascalon (you 



will be able to put this quotation right if I'm wrong) 
Glasgow — well, Glasgow made me shudder ! 



In thus recording my little chat with Mr. Shepherd I 
have had little opportunity of saying anything in praise 
of the marvellous originality in theme and treatment 
which characterises his work. To him all forms of 
the Animal Creation are alike, and he is equally at 
home, from a pictorial point of view, with a flea or an 
ichthyosaurus. lie will make you, with a few deft 
strokes, a soldier or a sailor, a tinker or a tailor, or 
even a Free Church Divine, of either with equal readi- 
ness and skill, and at the same time retain all the 
characteristics of the animal and person dealt with. 
Nor is he less successful when the process is reversed, 
and the features of some celebrity are to be combined 
with those of a camel or an ibis. Equally marvellous, 
too, is his economy of line — he might in fact be called 
the Phil May of animal artists, though his line-work is 
as different as possible from that of the latter artist. 
With the "Zig-Zags" he began a new style, principally 
pure outline, of varying thickness, assisted by a 
little "stipple," the result being highly effective 
and original, and a striking contrast to the broad 
strength of Phil May's line. In short, though to the 
man in the street Mr. Shepherd may appear as a 
draughtsman who looks only at the lighter side of 
things, those who are better qualified to judge, see in 
him as an artist alike of brilliant promise and no mean 
accomplishment, a man of keen observation and inde- 
fatigable industry, and a fellow of infinite jest and a 
pretty, pretty wit — in fact a second Jack Point who — 

. . Can teach you with a quip, if I've a mind ; 

I can trick you into learning with a laugh ; 

Oh winnow, winnow, winnow, all my folly and you'll find 

A grain or two of truth among the chaff. 

J. G. R. 




"S?^p«E - »•*-:-— sate 




l?%* 



" KEEP THE POT A-BOILING.' 

From a drawing by Mr. J. A, Shepherd, by permission of Messrs, Neumes, Ltd, 



296 



Brown's Book-Stall. 



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No. 53. 



January, 1899. 



Price One Penny. 




A PANTOMIME IN THE SIXTIES. 



|T may be more appropriate, 
perhaps, if I turn aside this 
month out of the musical 
tracks of the last three 
papers, and devote myself 
to a " ramble " on Christ- 
mas fare as it was wont to 
be purveyed in the " old house " in 
Marischal Street — the Theatre Royal. I 
must have been about 13 years of age when 
I first made the acquaintance of the interior 
of the Theatre Royal, Aberdeen, and my 
open sesame was a bill order for the gallery. 
To the younger generation it may be necessary 
to explain that the Aberdeen Theatre then 
stood on the site on which Trinity Parish 
Church now stands. The gallery entrance 
was the door nearest the foot, and the pit 
entrance the one nearest the top of Marischal 
Street — the centre door being used for the 
" swells " who patronised the boxes. These 
were not the days of emergency exits ; and 
what a stair led up to the gallery ! It was 
just wide enough for two people to squeeze in 
abreast. There were no fire-proof curtains 
then, no fire-alarms, no fire-fighting appli- 
ances, and yet fires in theatres were not 
more prevalent than now ! But I fear I am 
entering into controversial matter, and my 
editor does not allow that. 

The picture of the interior of the old 
house stands vividly out before me while I'm 



writing. Its private boxes, extending nearly 
half-way round on either side, constructed 
like so many dove-cots, or pigeon-holes. 

There were two rows of these pigeon-cots, 
an " upper " and a " lower," and a few known 
as the " centre " boxes. As each box 
was capable of seating from three to four 
people ^comfortably, and as each was pro- 
vided with a special gas bracket surmounted 
by a globe (in addition to the big roof-light 
with about a hundred jets besides wall 
brackets and the footlights), the effect on a 
close night when the gas was screwed up " in 
the full height of its dazzling splendour " 
can be better imagined than described. 
Vet, it was no misnomer on benefit nights to 
use the word elite with reference to the 
" box " people at the Theatre Royal. The 
pit folks were pretty much what they are yet, 
and sometimes they ruled the house, but on 
the rare occasions on which they were 
successful for the moment, the gallery rose to 
a man to the occasion, and promptly sat upon 
the pit, until perforce the pit caved in and 
the gallery was once more " cock of the 
walk." And the actors and their audiences 
were in those days on the best of terms with 
each other, favourities on the stage being 
signalled out by their admirers and 
encouraged to " hing in," so and so, " ye're 
daein' fine." Occasionally a funny passage-at- 
arms would have taken place. I remember 
a favourite comedian in Aberdeen was J. B. 
Watson, an actor who, by facial expression 
alone and without a single word, could keep 
an audience in fits of laughter for several 



298 



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299 



minutes on end. And Mr. Watson did not 
deal in imbecile face contortion, everything 
he did was done most naturally, which had 
all the funnier an effect. " J. B." had what 
was known as a cock eye, and on one 
occasion there was a somewhat troublesome 
fellow — a well-known character in his way — 
in the gallery. Mr. Watson had been sub- 
jected to more than his share of interruption, 
and at last he stepped out of his part and 
turning to his tormentor said, very quietly 
but firmly, " You'd best be quiet," giving the 
offender his name, "I've got my eye on you." 
" Which eye ? " promptly came from the 
gallery. " The one I had made for fixing 
unruly chaps in the gallery," was the reply 
delivered amid thundering plaudits from the 
rest of the house. 

Ah ! happy stage days. These were the 
" good old times " in matters theatrical when 
" stock " companies obtained, and when 
actors were actors ! These were the days 
when there was a change of bill every night, 
usually a drama followed by a farce, and on 
Saturdays generally as many as three pieces 
were put on. It may be thought that with 
the advent of touring companies better acting 
followed as a matter of course. That is 
really matter of opinion, however, but there 
can be no doubt that a school that produced 
and educated such men in the "ennobling" art 
as Garrick, Kean, Macready, and many 
others that might be named, was a " power 
for good" on the stage. And it might well 
be contended that the change from " stock " 
to "tours" and "runs" has not been an 
improvement all round. To some, even the 
modern theatre, with all its fine equipments 
for the stage and the front of the house, does 
not quite make up for the bad acting one sees 
to-day. Our present theatre — Her Majesty's 
— is a most compact and comfortable house, 
but somehow it will never, to me, take the 
place of the little old Theatre Royal with its 
cramped passages and break-neck staircases. 

Programs were an unknown quantity, in the 
gallery and " sweep's boxes " at least, but 
refreshments in the form of pigs' trotters, 
oranges, ginger-bread, pies, tarts, and lemon- 
ade were plentifully supplied all over the 



house. Loud cat-calls, whistling, and shouts 
of " Up wi' the hippin " were very much in 
evidence before the curtain was raised, and 
regularly did duty for the applause of an 
enthusiastic, and expectant audience. Groans 
and hisses aptly described the feelings of the 
excited multitudes when they were not 
satisfied. Lynch law was the order for the 
obstreperous one who made a row in the 
gallery. Three or four pairs of brawny arms 
and toil-stained hands lifted the objectionable 
individual clean out of his seat and shot him 
right into the middle of the pit ! The two 
parts of the house, were, however, in such 
close proximity that it was rarely that any 
damage was done, either to the person so 
unceremoniously lynched from the gods or to 
the unlucky pitite on whose head he might 
fall! 

The first pantomime I ever witnessed was 
Jack the Giant Killer, a story that rarely does 
duty now-a-days, but none the less exciting 
to theatre patrons of a bye-gone age. At 
this distance of time — and without a play- 
bill beside me to refresh my memory — I 
cannot recall the name of the writer of the 
" book." It was localised, of course, and I 
fancy my old friend Mr. William Carnie, if 
he cared, could tell us something about the 
written localisms. Then the actors and 
actresses for the time being were all local as 
well, because, as I have already explained, 
these were the old stock company days. 
The advantage of all this localising was made 
abundantly manifest during the run of the 
pantomime by the frequent "gagging" which 
took place night after night. " Pie Bob " 
and his various sayings and doings were a 
fruitful source from which to draw inspiration. 
The scenic artist, poor Harry Pont, was also 
local. And his "cloths," or as they were 
wont to be designated, " well-known views," 
of the " Bridge of Don," " Castle Street," 
"The Harbour," and other places of local 
interest did splendid duty at a pantomime 
time as " front scenes." Mr. Pont was for a 
long time connected with our theatre in 
Aberdeen, and, if my memory is not at fault, 
he went to Dundee latterly, where he was 
accidentally drowned. In his spare time he 



300 



Brown's Book-Stall. 



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painted a little in oils, and my friend, Mr. 
John Cowe, late of the West Coast Railway, 
had, or has in his possession, a picture of the 
ill-fated Tom Ryder painted by Harry Pont. 
But there, I'm digressing again ! 

Jack the Giant Killer was " produced on a 
scale of magnificence never before attempted 
in Aberdeen " — the first performance being 
given on what is known as " Boxing Night." 
The curtain went up at 7 o'clock and was not 
lowered till midnight ! " A grand old time " 
for those taking part " behind," and rare value 
for the sixpenny galleryite. Old day panto- 
mime differed very considerably from what is 
dished up to us in this form to-day. In 
depticting the various incidents in the life of 
Jack the Giant Killer, for example, the 
original story was pretty closely followed so 
that the most youthful member of the 
audience could easily and intelligently 
follow what he had already read about the 
hero. Now-a-days consistency is not so 
pronounced an attribute. The huge grinning 
masks with their rolling eyes and lolling 
tongues protruding from their mouths were a 
source of wonder and positively inspired a 
feeling of awe in the minds of the little 
people who revelled in the unfolding of the 
pantomime story. The " giant," I distinctly 
remember, was a huge hulking fellow whose 
head was in danger of touching the overhead 
battens ! And what a wonderful head it was. 
Why, you talk of folk with eyes in the 
backs of their heads ! There was no need 
for that with my first giant, for all he had to 
do was to turn round his head, and hey, 
presto ! he could see everything that was 
taking place behind him. He didn't seem 
to have the slightest trouble with his neck. 
It was the most flexible neck I ever saw ! 
And then when he made the old house shake 
with his stentorian tones calling out 

" Phe, Pho, Phi, Phum, 

I feel the smell of an Englishman, 

Be he alive or be he dead, 

I'll grind his bones to make me bread," 

the audience positively trembled. At any- 
rate the little boys and girls with saucer- 
shaped eyes felt very much afraid for their 
personal safety, notwithstanding that "Jack" 



was present to slay the monster in double- 
quick time. What a jubilation followed the 
killing of the giant, and what an ovation 
" Jack " received when " he " wiped the blade 
of his sword and smilingly bowed to the 
audience. The redoubtable giant-killer had 
a novel method of despatching his giant. 
" He ' began by cutting off his legs. You 
see the giant was so big and " Jack " was so 
small that there was no chance of getting at 
the dreadful man's heart. Even minus his 
legs the giant was still too big for "Jack," 
and it was only after he had mounted on the 
shoulders of two of his trusted knights that 
the " hero " was finally enabled to give the 
deadly thrust, and then the giant fell dead as a 
door nail. But I could not get over the 
mask head, for after the giant was as dead as 
he could possibly be on any stage, those 
eyes rolled about and one of the eyelids 
winked up and down and the tongue lolled 
out of his mouth just as they did while he 
was alive ! 

There were great rejoicings after that, and 
then we prepared for the " grand transform- 
ation scene," in " which a fountain of real 
water " with varied effects produced by means 
of coloured glasses played an important part. 
And thereby hangs a tale. The fountain 
was, of course, " worked " through one of the 
stage traps, and a huge tarpaulin was spread 
all round, in basin form, to catch the water. 
Just almost at the conclusion of the unfolding 
of the tinselled transformation scene, and 
after the fountain had been playing for about 
five minutes and the basin was almost full, 
something went wrong with the tarpaulin 
right in front of the orchestra. Ere any one 
was quite aware " how it all happened," a 
huge wave of water came rushing out over 
the stage completely enveloping the band. 
The curtain was suddenly lowered that night, 
and it was some time ere the audience would 
settle down to the dear, good old-fashioned 
harlequinade. When the band re-appeared, 
they were received with shouts of merriment, 
and one piping voice was heard above the 
din in the gallery enquiring if the bandsmen 
" liket their dook wi' their claes on." Later 
on the clown was giving the pantaloon some 



302 Brown's Book-Stall. 



PERTHSHIRE CONSTITUTIONAL says:-Mr. Reid and the Editor of the "Book-Stall" are to 
be jointly and severally congratulated on these bright and valuable Notes on Black and White Artists. 

NOW READY. NOW READY. 



Fcap 4to, in Handsome Cover specially designed by Mr. WILLIAM SMITH. 
Price, 1/6 Net ; Post Free, 1/9 ; or Neatly Bound in Art Linen, 2/6 Net ; Post Free, 2/9. 

AT THE SIGN OF THE 
BRUSH AND PEN: 

Being Notes on Some Black and White Artists of To-day. 

By j. g. reid. 

The Volume contains Articles on and Interviews with the following Artists : — 
SIR GEORGE REID, P.R.S.A. T. E. DONNISON. W. RALSTON. 

A. S. BOYD, R.S.W. A. S. HARTRICK. WALTER SICKERT. 

A. CHASEMORE. FRED. T. JANE. E. J. SULLIVAN. 

FRANK CRAIG. HARRY PAYNE. W. F. THOMAS. 

The Articles are very Fully Illustrated with Portraits of the Artists and Specimens of their Work — most 
of the Drawings having been specially executed for publication in the Volume. 



PRESS NOTICES— 



Dundee Courier says : — 

Cleverly written in a light, humorous vein. 

These articles on the black and white brigade are 
of much value. 

Full of attractive matter. 

Perthshire Constitutional says :— 

Is distinctly good, and is a vast credit to the 
enterprise of Bon -Accord. 

Written in Mr. Reid's brightest style. 

These "Notes on the Black and White Artists 
of To-Day " are of much interest and value. 



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Brown's Book-Stall, an interesting little Aber- 
deen monthly, is printing a series of freshly-written 
articles on the black and white artists of to-day. 

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Is thoroughly deserving of perusal, and is 
extremely interesting because of its illustrations. 

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303 



lessons in swimming, when he invited Mr. 
Allwood, the conductor of the orchestra, on 
to the stage to " have some," as, "if he didn't 
know how to swim, he might be drowned 
some night in the theatre." And so the fun 
went on fast and furious. I have not 
attempted to give anything like a pantomime 
rehearsal of the olden time. " King 
Neptune and his attendants " in " the depths 
of the ocean " discussed the pantomime in 
the first scene, of course, and the " gorgeous 
porcessions " in those days were mostly taken 
part in by children. This arrangement gave 
greater scope for contrast as between the 
citizens of Pekin and the animals, such as 
elephants, camels, and so on, who were " on " 
in the " Halls of Light and Splendour" 
scene. Of course there was dancing and 
plenty of it, too, but there were no " importa- 
tions." In those days there were generally 
two ballet dancers engaged all the season 
through, whose duty it was to entertain the 
audience between the play and the " after- 
piece." These ladies rehearsed about a dozen 
Aberdeen girls to go through a few simple 
marching and tripping exercises, and these, 
together with the efforts of the ladies 
mentioned, did duty for the elaborate ballets 
of to-day. The terpsichorean divinities also 
took part, amateur and professional alike, in 
the "transformation" as "nymphs of the 
sea," " the woods," or the hundred and one 
otherclasses of nymphs with which pantomime 
abounds. 

And these "palmy" days of the theatre 
are gone from us for ever ! Hushed are the 
voices that were wont to make us laugh and 
weep. On many, if not nearly all of the then 
players on our mimic stage, the curtain has 
been rung down on the final act of each of 
their own life's dramas, and the lights 
turned out for the last time. Yet amid the 
silence and gloom that followed, what a 
wealth of pleasant memories are left behind ! 

Frank Clements. 



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ET the paraffin flare on our Vanity Fair 
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In the boss show that's found at the Stall. 
When a kid fresh and crisp is beginning to lisp, 

And for knowledge to hunger and call, 
He is eager and ready on tootums unsteady 

To toddle for books to the Stall. 
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Trips in terror and tremor and thrill 
To the Book-Stall, and learns of the feeling that yearns 

In the heart that she cannot keep still. 
When man for the strife in the struggle of life 

Goes to brighten and burnish his gear, 
In the Book-Stall he looks, and he finds in the books 

I lis breast plate and buckler and spear. 
When age brings its measure of comfort and leisure, 

Forgot are the pleasures that pall, 
Then we find the true essence of rejuvenescence 

In books that we bought at the Stall. 
Our policy here is the wide open door 

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Subscribers, Contributors all, 
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Which though written "By Reid" should "be read." 
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That carry the laurel and lyre, 
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Less known as a dancer than pie-er. 
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Our Dannie, beside Dandy Dan, 
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HOLIDAY READING. 

You can't do better, if you want a good book to 
read, than buy a copy of John Splendid, a tale of the 
little wars of Lorn, by Neil Munro, price 4/6 cash, at 
Brown's Book-Stall. 

A tale of stirring adventure in the Western High- 
lands, with a quaint old-time flavour about the telling 
of it, and a good historical basis. The sort of book 
to sit down with for a long winter evening before a 
good wood, or by preference peat, fire, 



Brown's Book-Stall. 



SIGDOFGbeBRflSb&PeD, 

'wV/v & e ' n g some notes on tne 

Black and White Artists 

of to da>^ 



/ 



No. 17.— MR. ALFRED BRYAN. 



Though Pm a buffoon, recollect 
I command your respect ! 

I cannot for money 

Be vulgarly f tinny, 
My object's to make you reflect ! 

Other clowns make you laugh till you sink, 
When they tip you a wink : 

With attitude antic 

They render you frantic — 
I don't. I compel you TO THINK! 

O sings Bartolo in 'The Mounte- 
banks, and had he been a 
distinguished caricaturist in- 
stead of merely "a very 
miserable mummer," he 
could not have described his 
duties more appropriately, 
for the business of the 
cartoonist, is above all things, 
to " make you reflect." 

Ever since the days when Rebecca, acting on the 
excellent principle of killing two birds with one 
stone, " drew," impartially, Jacob and water at the 
well, there have been caricaturists and caricatures in 
the land. Though it was not until somewhere about 
1680 A.D. that the word was first used in English — 
on that particular occasion by Sir Thomas Browne in 
his posthumous work " Christian Morals " — and some 
eighty years later incorporated by our old friend Dr. 
Johnson in his dictionary, the Art of Caricature was 
known, as most other things seem to have been, to 
the Ancients. The Egyptians had a pretty wit, 
though but few traces of the work of their Alfred 
Bryans now remain. On the unimpeachable authority 
of the Encyclopedia Brittanica such remnants are 
exactly three in number, though (and I mention the 




fact with sorrow), these belong to the class of — ahem \ 
— ithyphallic drolleries rather than to that of the 
ironical grotesque. 

With the Greeks things were different — they did 
not seek to disguise their taste for pictorial parody by 
any such unpronounceable method, and that they did 
indulge occasionally in the art of Mr. Carruthers 
Gould, sundry discoveries of pottery painted with 
burlesque subjects will bear witness, while Aristotle, 
who, it will of course be remembered, was something 
of a Swift McNeill in the matter, and didn't like this 
pictorial pleasantry, refers in strong, though quite 
printable language to the pictures of a certain Pauson. 
This gentleman, who, had not Lord Rosebery 
belonged to a somewhat later age, would certainly 
have been knighted, seems to have been possessed of 
no slight skill, for he is also referred to, as every 
schoolboy and Bailie will recollect, by Aristophanes, 
and is the subject of one of Lucien's anecdotes — 
again quite printable. He may, therefore, without 
giving rise to any undue jealousy, be regarded as the 
doyen of caricaturists. 

Even the Romans loved their joke, and sundry 
curious frescoes unearthed at Pompeii and Her- 
culaneum go to prove that they had their Tenniels as 
well as we, while Pliny mentions certain painters 
celebrated for their burlesque pictures. Then there 
was the famous comic statue of Caracalla — a gentle- 
man with a pretty taste for assassination, who after an 
attempt on the life of his own father, went in for 
murder on wholesale lines, and ended his days in the 
maddest acts of destruction and the most atrocious 
crimes — and the even more famous graffito of the 
Crucifixion, though after all, as the Encyclopcedia 
already referred to sagely remarks, the caricature of 
the old world must be sought for not among its 
painters and sculptors but among its poets and 
dramatists — the comedies of Aristophanes, and the 



^TTO 



$£*$& 




Specially drawn by Mr. Alfred Bryan for "Brown's Book-Stall 



OUR CH 




See Poem on page 304. 



TMAS FAIR. 



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309 



epigrams of Martial being to the Athens of Pericles 
and the Rome of Domitian what the etchings of 
Gillray and the lithographs of Daumier were to the 
London of George III. and the Paris of the Citizen 
King. 

Coming to the Middle Ages the Caricaturist found 
scope for his skill in the gurgoyles and entablatures 
of the Cathedrals which were springing up, the 
favourite devices being Reynard the Fox — hero of the 
famous mediaeval Romance, the Devil, and Death, 
the last represented by the sarcastic skeleton. 
Following up the idea of the famous Dance of Death, 
so well known a feature in the decoration of many 
churches both in this country and on the continent, 
Holbein produced his fifty-three etchings of the 
Danse Macabre, the first and perhaps the greatest set 
of satirical moralities known to the modern world. 
Then with the invention of printing we reach the 
pictorial caricature proper, the first known example 
being a cartoon dated 1499 relating to Louis XII. and 
his Italian War. The Reformation, as all great 
movements invariably do — for good harvests and satire 
do not agree— produced a fine crop, an excellent start 
being made by one Louis Cranach, a friend of Luther. 
In England, however, the cartoon had not yet begun 
to flourish, one of the earliest specimens known being 
a sketch of Mary Stuart as a Mermaid, and it was 
not until the Eighteenth Century that the Golden Age 
of the Caricature may be said to have been reached. 
It was the age of Gillray and Rowlandson and 
Hogarth, while two amateurs, the Countess of 
Burlington and General Townshend, also helped not a 
little to perpetuate in picture the manners, customs, 
and popular political opinions of their day. Gillray, 
it may be of interest to note, produced between 
twelve and fifteen hundred cartoons, most of them 
reflecting on the King, "Farmer" George, and his 
wife, the Court, the Government, and indeed every 
phase of public life, and finally died an imbecile. 
Later caricaturists— John Doyle, the famous " H.B.," 
who instituted the style of cartoon in vogue at the 
present day ; George Cruickshank, John Leech, 
Richard Doyle, Hablot K. Browne (father of that very 
well known black and white artist, Gordon Browne), 
Alfred Crowquill and Kenny Meadows to name but a 
few, are, like Jack Jones of immortal memory before 
he took to drinking " Scotch and soda on his own," 
more or less well known to everyone, and of them 
it is unnecessary here to speak, 



And so, through the long ages, we come to the 
present day — the day of Sir John Tenniel, of Mr. F. 
Carruthers Gould, and of Mr. Alfred Bryan. The 
work of Tenniel commands the respect of all — its 
dignified and lofty tone, suaviter in modo, fortiter in 
re, and its unfailing appropriateness, marred only by 
a distinct inability of late on the part of the artist to 
draw a telling likeness, are well known. On the 
other hand, Mr. Gould's strong point is his portrait- 
ure — no one who has seen any of his exceedingly 




MR. ALFRED BRYAN. 

clever cartoons in the pages of the Westminster 
Gazette could fail to recognise again, in real life, the 
subject thereof. He has made the politician his 
special preserve, and a sketch by F. C. G. will do 
more to make the budding M.P. famous than any 
unaided effort of his own is ever likely to do. It is, 
however, Mr Alfred Bryan, who has been caricaturing 
now for nearly thirty years, and as Mr. Cheval er says 
of his Dear Old Dutch— 

"It ain't a dye too much," 



3'° 



Brown's Book-Stall. 




R.R.U.. TO "VABISTT- MOB LIGHTS - VOO HAVE BEEN DOING SDCH WONDEE3 
LATELY AT THE MUSIC-HALLS, THAT I MUST THY TO ABBANOE A PER- 
FORMANCE AT WIND80B." 



From a drawing by Mr. A (/red Bryt 



the Entr'acte Annual. 



that we propose, with his kind permission, to dissect 
on the present occasion. And so, to stand no longer 
on the order of our going, but to go on at once. 

Personally Mr. Bryan is an excellent fellow, his 
cigars are beyond reproach, his Special of a blend but 
seldom met with, and his residence in North London, 
close to Finsbury Park, one of the most delightful in 
which to spend a happy evening. Nothing could 
have been more pleasant from a personal point of 
view than my mission to him, but it was when the 
cigar had vanished like smoke, the " Special" dis- 
appeared as promptly as did the "Vanishing Lady" 
of sacred memory, and one returned to matters 
mundane and faced the stern duty of discovering all 
about this latest addition to our Open -all -the-year- 
round Gallery, that I realized the full magnitude of 
the task I had undertaken. Mr. Bryan is Modesty 



personified — he simply won't speak about himself. He 
will talk for the hour, if you will, about his old 
engravings, of which he has an exceptionally fine 
collection — here a curious old drawing of Sam Cowell, 
there other rare prints of Tom Matthews, the clown, 
Jenny Lind, Taglioni, the famous dancer, and so on ; 
he will discuss the gentle Art of Caricature since the 
time of Rameses I. ; he will spin you yarns without 
stint about all the celebrities he has met — and their 
number is legion ; but on his own deeds and misdeeds, 
his accomplishments and triumphs, he is as short of 
words as the respected parent of the White Prince 
was of smiles after the unfortunate tragedy which 
befell the latter, full particulars of which will be found 
by the curious in one of the Royal Readers. 

This reticence on the part of a celebrity is very 
nice and becoming, but there is another side to the 



Brown's Book-Stall. 



3it 



question. What would the Medical Faculty say about 
the undue strain which this conduct places on the 
imagination of such a person as myself, who is 
expected to tell you all about the distinguished 
gentleman in question ? However I have got to fill a 
certain allotted space about Mr. Bryan, and if the 
following facts (drawn from my "inner conscious- 
ness"), are not absolutely correct, the reader will 
please understand that I have done my best in the 
circumstances. 

Mr. Alfred Bryan, it may not unreasonably be 
assumed, was born in due course, but as to when or 
where, or whether the planets were propitious, History 
is absurdly silent. I had hoped to recall memories of 
his happy boyhood and the days when (being but 
human), he longed to be a Pawnee chief and carry 
scalps and a tomahawk, by enquiring insinuatingly as 
to where he had acquired his marvellous skill in the 
delineation of features of all kinds, but this scheme 
was prematurely nipped in the bud by the surprising 
reply that he had never received an hour's instruction 
in his life. 

" Of course," added Mr. Bryan, " I had an idea of 
sketching while at school, but I never seriously 
thought of adopting drawing as a profession until I 
was twenty-one." 

Prior to this, however — and here the story of his 
career as an artist may be said to commence — he had 
contributed to a local paper with the alluring and 
alliterative title of the Hornsey Hornet, but of those 
first efforts he is not inordinately proud. About this 
time, too, being then seventeen years old, he reached 
what may be called the turning point of his history 
that was to lead him on to fame, and putting it not too 
highly, a fair share of fortune. He was attending the 
Polytechnic, and there he made the acquaintance of 
Professor Tobin, who, by the way, was connected 
with the immortal Pepper of "Pepper's Ghost" 
fame, and who at the time was drawing cartoons for a 
clever little publication called the Entr'acte. The 
Professor introduced Mr. Bryan to the proprietor of 
that paper, and shortly after the young artist con- 
tributed his first drawing to its pages. For a long 
time he never missed an issue, and though not now so 
regular in his contributions, he is still, on occasion, 
faithful to his first love, as two of the drawings from 
Mr. Bryan's pen, "H.R.H. and the 'Variety' High 
Lights," and "Mr. Forbes Robertson and Mr. William 
Shakespeare," which we reproduce from the last 



Christmas issue of the Entr'acte Annual by the read- 
ily and courteously given permission of the proprietor 
thereof, will bear witness. Then the London Figaro 
kept him busy for many years. In those days it used 
to illustrate its gossip columns with sketches, and 
these were entrusted to Mr. Bryan. 

"Ah me," remarked that gentleman, as after con- 
siderable manipulation of the conversation, I drifted 
on to this subject — " Ah me, what a change has come 
over the weekly press since James Mortimer started 
the London Figaro. Why in those days a paper of 
that sort was quite a novelty, and twenty years ago 
portraits of celebrities were about as scarce as whales 
are reported to be in the Euxine Sea." 

From earliest infancy Mr. Bryan has always had a 
great love for the stage and things theatrical, and 
naturally, therefore, a very considerable portion of his 
work has been devoted to perpetuating the memory of 
the actors and actresses of his day. Indeed, at one 
time, so often did he caricature Mr. J. L. Toole that 
he was very nearly appointed Artist Extraordinary 
and Caricaturist Plenipotentiary to that prince among 
good fellows. His long pictorial connection with the 
stage was begun in 1884, when he succeeded Wallis 
MacKay as illustrator of the "Captious Critic" 
articles in the Lllustrated Sporting and Dramatic 
News, a post which he has filled for upwards of four- 
teen years with consummate skill, originality, and 
humour. As a matter of course he has met practically 
every dramatic celebrity of the time, and a collection 
of his sketches of these players of many parts would 
form a most interesting and valuable pictorial record 
of the Drama, and one which the proprietors of that 
paper might find it well worth their while to publish, 
for the pencil of the artist succeeds, as photography 
never can, in preserving the little idiosyncrasies and 
mannerisms of the person portrayed. The "Captious 
Critic " is Mr. A. C. Barker, an old friend of Mr. 
Bryan, and on Monday nights these two " Busy B's" 
may be seen by the curious seated together in the 
stalls of the selected theatre. Mr. Barker makes 
notes as the play proceeds, his companion on the 
other hand trusting entirely to his memory, considering 
that a drawing from a previous sketch causes to a 
certain extent a " woodenness " of the figures that is 
not nearly so noticeable in one that has been executed 
without preparation. Having elicited this rather 
remarkable confession, I next sounded (very adroitly), 
Mr. Bryan on the use he makes of photographs. 



3** 



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MR. TORBES ROBERTSON. TO W SHAKESPEARE "I'VE DONE SOMETHING FOB 
YOU. WILLIAM 

SHAKESPEARE " YES. AND DON'T FOBOET THAT 1 HAVE DONE SOMETHINO 
FOB YOV! " 

From a drawing by Mr. Alfred Bryan in the " Entr'acte Annual.' 



" I seldom use them at all," was the astounding 
reply, "but trust entirely to my memory. When I 
get home," he continued, evidently forgetting for one 
glorious moment his adamantine resolution not to talk 
of himself, " I jot down a few rough notes, and these 
I elaborate next morning. However, having once 
seen a face, I find usually no difficulty in recalling it, 
though of course, in some cases, as for instance were 
Menelik of Abyssinia or Burnett of Kemnay to be 
made an F.O.S., where it is impossible, without 
considerable trouble, to see the ' subject,' a photo is 
the only guide available." 

And here I might say a word about the remarkable 
cartoon which Mr. Bryan, in spite of being in rather 
poor health and extremely pressed with other and 
more remunerative work, has done specially for this 
issue of the Book-Stall. It being found impossible 
for various very evident reasons to ask the dis- 



tinguished local contingent represented in it to give 
special sittings to Mr. Bryan for the purpose, recourse 
had to be made to photographs, and no better 
evidence of the artist's skill could, I think, be given 
than the really marvellously successful manner in 
which he has " hit off" the features and characteristics 
of the gentlemen whom we have thus immortalised. 
These and most of the others included will be readily 
recognised, but the genial bard who has made the 
Book-Stall famous with "St. Fittack's" has been 
prevailed upon to put the matter into "metrical and 
tuney verse," the net result of which will be found on 
another page. 

But Mr. Bryan's work has by no means been con- 
fined to matters dramatic, for he has done a consider- 
able quantity of political work, mainly — and I 
reproved him gently when he mentioned it — on 
Conservative lines. Lord Beaconsfield was once 



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315 



asked whether a politician was injured by being 
caricatured, and replied, "In those days a man's 
object is to be made ridiculous." Be this as it may, 
among the many artists who helped to make "Dizzy" 
known to the multitude, Mr. Bryan occupies a fore- 
most place, and he confesses that he never had so 
excellent a subject. With both Disraeli and Gladstone 
gone, the lot of the caricaturist is anything but a 
happy one, for though from a pictorial point of view 
there is still Harcourt left, even he seems likely soon 
to disappear from the political arena, " unwept, 
unhonoured, and unsung." Men like Lord Rosebery, 
Mr. Asquith, and Mr. Chamberlain do not readily 
lend themselves to pictorial treatment, and it seems 
as if Mr. Balfour and Mr. Timothy Healy will soon 
be the sole victims left for the caricaturist's pencil. 
Some of Mr Bryan's cleverest parliamentary cartoons 
have appeared in the pages of Moonshine, and I 
pleaded with a tear on my cheek for some particulars 
as to how they were done. 

" Well," answered Mr. B., "I oughn't perhaps to 
give away Cabinet Secrets, though, after all, there 
isn't really very much to tell, but if you must know, 
the subject of the Cartoon is first discussed by the 
Editor and myself, and when it is finally settled I 
proceed to draw out a rough sketch of it, and fill in 
the details as I go on. Of course a considerable 
amount of alteration has to be made before it is 
finally passed for press, for I think the chief point of 
a cartoon should be the directness with which it tells 
its own story." Thus encouraged, I ventured on 
still another enquiry — How did the Victim take it, 
and had anyone ever offered to chastise him as Mr. 
Swift McNeill, on a famous occasion, had threatened 
to do to Mr. Harry Furniss ? 

" The Victim, as you are pleased to call him," 
answered Mr. Bryan, "generally takes things smil- 
ingly, consoling himself, doubtless, with the recollec- 
tion that such is the penalty of greatness. Personally 
no violence has been offered me, nor have the 
Insurance Companies, so far as I am yet aware, found 
it necessary to increase the rates for Caricaturists, or 
the Factory Inspector to class that occupation under 
• Dangerous Trades.' On one occasion, however," 
he continued, "one of my cartoons, in which John 
Bright was depicted- somewhat severely I admit— as 
being punished by John Bull, was held up by Mr. 
Gladstone at a great meeting for reprobation. ' This 
will shew you? said he, ' to what a state public feeling 
has come.' But I always try to be fair, though I can 



assure you it is a most difficult thing on many 
occasions to avoid appearing unduly severe." 

In addition to his theatrical and political work, 
Mr. Bryan also pictures Society with the capital S. 
As long ago as 1878 his first World cartoon appeared 
in the Christmas Number of that year. It was called 
" A First Night at the Lyceum," and contained 
portraits of as many of the regular " First Nighters" 
as poss'ble. So pleased was the Proprietor, at that 
time the late Mr. Edmund Yates, with the result, 
that Mr. Bryan has done a cartoon for every successive 
Christmas Number from that date to this — surely a 
record in continuous cartooning. Nor must it be 
forgotten that for many years he has drawn the 
portraits for the F.O.S. Gallery in our old friend the 
Half- Holiday, perpetuating the memory of the many 
already famous men (including the Editor of this 
paper) whom " Ally " has still further immortalised. 

As can readily be gathered from the difficulty with 
which I " drew " Mr. Bryan — an art-ivX joke, by the 
way, upon which the gentle reader need not be 
unnecessarily severe, as it was originally intended for 
Bon-Accord — he is not carried away unduly by a 
sense of his own importance, while, on the contrary, 
he is full of admiration for the work of his brother 
cartoonists. Sir John Tenniel he considers to be the 
great master of the Art, closely followed by Mr. 
Linley Sambourne, Mr. Harry Furniss (whose Glad- 
stone specialities he thinks are unequalled), and Mr. 
F. Carruthers Gould. And of course he has a kind 
word for his two old pupils Mr. J. A. Shepherd (with 
whom we dealt last month) and Mr. Thomas Downey. 
In short, though officially a sort of Pictorial Censor, 
who (to bring in the inevitable quotation from the 
writings of that Prince of Philosophers, Jack Point, 
without which no contribution in this series can be 
considered genuine) might sing — 

I can set the braggart quailing with a quip, 
The upstart I can wither with a whim ; 

He may wear a merry laugh upon his lip, 
But his laughter has an echo which is grim — 

Mr. Bryan personally is one of the mildest mannered 
men who ever scared the Sultan or killed a Govern- 
ment. At his " ain fireside " he will tickle you with 
quip and conundrum, give you of the lighter phil- 
osophies, and indeed so thoroughly help you to forget 
the Sorrows of an Interviewer (not to mention Satan) 
that when the curfew tolls the knell of your departure, 
you would fain, being impressionable and poetical, 
exclaim with Juliet — 

Good night, good night ! Parting is such sweet sorrow 
That I shall say good night till it be morrow. 

J. G. R. 



316 



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A. BROWN & CO., 83 and 85 Union Street, Aberdeen. 




No. 



54- 



February, 1899. 



Price One Penny. 




IN THE FIFTIES. 

PHONOGRAPHIC REMINISCENCES. 

HE Aberdeen Early 
Closing Association 
was a very vigorous 
and active body, the 
membership of which 
was composed of 
young men in the 
shops of the city, and 
its object was short- 
ening the hours 
and securing a 
weekly half-holiday. 
Previous to this 
they were long and irregular, Saturday 
being one of the longest for business 
purposes, and there was no uniform agree- 
ment as to the time of closing amongst the 
employers. Their efforts were successful, 
and the Association formed a Mutual 
Improvement Society, so that their spare 
time might be occupied in mental and moral 
culture. For some years it was carried on 
with great energy and spirit, having a large 
membership, and met in one of the rooms of 
the Central Academy, 56 Union Street. 
From that Association many men dis- 
tinguished in after life for the prominence 
and ability which they evinced in the municipal 
affairs of the city, there received their first 
training for public work. Others are now 
occupying important positions as preachers 
of the Gospel, while several have adopted 



literature as a profession and been singularly 
successful in newspaper work; and not a few 
are still engaged in commerce here and else- 
where, owing much of their success to the 
benefits which they received as members of 
the Aberdeen Early Closing Mutual Improve- 
ment Association, which in its day was one 
of the largest and most popular societies of 
the kind in Aberdeen. As chairman, I read 
a paper at one of the meetings on the 
advantages of Phonography, and so favour- 
ably did the members look upon the aquisi- 
tion of this art, as a useful and desirable 
accomplishment, that they proposed the 
formation of a class, and expressed a strong 
desire that I should be their teacher. To 
the request thus preferred I at once agreed, 
and in the month of October, 1854, a class 
was started of about forty members. The year 
after I had a similar request following a lecture 
on phonography, from a number of ladies and 
gentlemen who heard it, and a class of thirty 
or so began, meeting weekly in the vestry of 
the Belmont Street United Presbyterian 
Church. At that time public halls were few 
and expensive, and for such meetings school- 
rooms and churches were much in demand ; 
they met the requirements fairly well, 
although the accommodation was often rather 
confined, but there was one special recom- 
mendation, and that not to be despised, the 
cost was more nominal than real, which was 
to the young men of that time of some con- 
sequence. The class also added a goodly 
number to the Phonetic Society, which was 
the only terms I made as regards outlay on 
the part of the pupils. 



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3'9 



In 1858 Mr. G. H. Knox, who was then a 
compositor in the office of the Aberdeen 
Herald, having acquired a theoretical and 
practical knowledge of Phonography, and 
wishing to be helpful in its dissemination, got 
together a number of young men, chiefly 
printers, who formed a class, meeting in St. 
Paul Street School. It was most successful, 
and at its conclusion Mr. Knox had an 
examination of his pupils, to which several 
friends interested in Phonography were in- 
vited. They had also a social meeting, 
including ladies, in Grant's School, Back 
Wynd, which was most enjoyable. Addresses 
were delivered on that occasion by Mr. Wm. 
Alexander of the Free Press, Mr. W. Carnie 
of the Aberdeen Herald, Mr. James Valentine 
of the Aberdeen Journal, and the writer. 

Mr. Knox was a very careful and painstak- 
ing teacher, quiet and unassuming in manner, 
but with a thorough knowledge of his subject, 
and a faculty for inspiring enthusiasm in his 
pupils. Several of the members of the 
class became well known in newspaper work ; 
they left the compositors' room and occupied 
the reporters' desk or editorial sanctum. 
Mr. Louis Kidd, who succeeded Mr. Wm. 
Carnie in the Aberdeen Herald on the report- 
ing staff, was one of the number. He went 
'to Belfast and, if I mistake not, he is now on 
the London Echo. Mr. Andrew Nicol was 
also a pupil. He left the printers' case 
in the Aberdeen Herald for the Inverness 
Courier's reporting staff, ultimately becoming 
sub-editor of the Banffshire Journal, a posi- 
tion he occupied with much ability for many 
years, till illness necessitated his resignation. 
He died some time ago, respected and 
esteemed by his colleagues and many 
friends. William Anderson was also a 
pupil, and he, too, became a capable and 
excellent reporter on the Peterhead Sentinel, 
ultimately becoming its editor and pro- 
prietor, and what was likely to have been 
a brilliant career was terminated by his 
early death. Another member of the class 
was the genial proprietor of Bon-Accord, Mr. 
William Smith, who was then a compositor 
in the Herald, and a devoted enthusiast to 
Phonetic Shorthand. Mr. George Leslie, 
printer, was another of the same band. He, 



too, was distinguished for zeal and energy. 
He was then in the Journal office as a 
compositor, and regretfully communicated 
with Mr. Pitman, that the Rifle Move- 
ment, recently organized, was occupying the 
time and attention of the young men in 
Aberdeen, to the exclusion of the study of 
Phonography. Mr. James Elder, also of the 
Aberdeen Herald, and for many years past 
Inspector of Poor for Elgin and several 
adjacent parishes, was another member of 
the class. The work, however, went on, and 
if there was no great noise, classes were 
being taught in various districts of the city. 

In i860, Mr. John Neil of Glasgow, who 
came to reside in Aberdeen, was an enthu- 
iastic phonographer, and being a complete 
stranger, he was ignorant of what was, and 
had been doing for the promotion of Phono- 
graphy. In the Phonetic Journal he an- 
nounced "his advent to the city, by declar- 
ing that Phonography was in a slumbering 
state, and that he proposed at once starting 
a class." This gave a little annoyance to 
those who had long been actively engaged in 
the organizing and teaching of classes, and 
had he only looked at the Phonetic Journal 
for the few years preceding, he would have 
seen that Aberdeen had produced a number 
of phonographers, contributing far more 
proportionally to its population than Glasgow-. 
Mr. Neil, like another Elijah who thought 
he alone remained of the prophets, found 
that there were many active and energetic 
phonographers besides himself in Aberdeen, 
and that they were friendly and willing 
to co-operate with him in serving the cause. 
John was a young man of much energy 
and go, impulsive and somewhat unreflective. 
He not only taught some classes which 
were very successful, but he also conducted 
and contributed to several ever circulat- 
ing magazines. He had some skill as an 
artist, and edited the Student's Friend 
and School of Art, which was well illustrated, 
and was referred to by the Free Press "as 
an excellent example of leisure hours being 
turned to good account in a refined and 
elevating recreation." And it well deserved 
this compliment, for the illustrations were 
carefully and skilfully drawn. He was also 



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rown's Book-Stall. 



321 



the editor of the Phonographic Luminary, an 
eight page monthly of which Mr. Neil wrote 
the transfer. It did not however "shine" 
very long, as it could scarcely be expected to 
compete with the phonographic magazines 
issued by Mr. Isaac Pitman of Bath, which 
were so correctly written, and as lithographic 
work, displayed great skill and beauty. 

At the close of the year i860, I gave a 
lecture on " Phonography, what is it ?" to the 
Aberdeen Temperance Society — in an easy 
conversational style — with illustrations on the 
blackboard. The meeting was large, and 
composed chiefly of young men. At the close 
I intimated that I would give another 
the following week, as I had not got so far 
that night as I wished in the treatment of my 
subject — to which intimation there was a 
very hearty response. The Aberdeen Herald 
in a report of the lecture, among other 
commendatory remarks, said— "The lecture 
was delivered in the Central Academy to a 
large and interested audience. It is scarcely 
necessary to say that the lecturer treated this 
highly useful branch of knowledge, of which 
he has acquired the complete mastery, both 
as regards its theory and practice, with 
ability." 

This paragraph was no doubt helpful in 
accounting for the crowded attendance at 
the following Lecture. The attention which 
the lecturer received, and the quickness with 
which the audience followed the illustrations 
was particularly pleasing — they were able to 
read the consonants singly and in combination 
as they were written on the blackboard. When 
a suggestion was made, that if a number came 
forward to learn, would I be willing to con- 
duct the class, I replied that if twenty gave 
in their names at the close of the meeting, I 
would be agreeable to teach for 13 weeks 
once a week. The only condition I stipulated 
was that the class should pay the expense of 
the place of meeting, and that at its con- 
clusion I would expect them to become 
members of the Phonetic Society. After the 
meeting about 80 names were taken down, a 
secretary was appointed, and an opportunity 
was given to those willing to learn who were 
not at that meeting, and in the course of a 



few days the number had increased to about 
150 to 180. 

A London correspondent wrote of this 
class — " I am glad to hear that that indefatig- 
able phonographer, Mr. A. S. Cook, Aber- 
deen'was last week requested by a number 
of young men to begin a class, when upwards 
of 70 enrolled. Hoping soon to have a good 
account of them. Aberdeen has a sort of 
natural connection with shorthand writing, 
the celebrated John Perry of the Morning 
Chronicle, the first who raised reporting to 
the dignity of a profession, having been the 
son of a butcher in that city, where he was 
born 20th October, 1756. The land of 
' mountain and of flood ' has never been 
without a representative in the Gallery of 
both Lords and Commons from the days of 
John Perry to that of Angus B. Reach, and 
I hope proper supporters to these worthies 
are being trained up." 

I found that such a large class would 
encroach too much on my spare time, so I 
asked Mr. G. H. Knox to take the half, 
which he very willingly did ; and securing 
as a meeting place the two rooms in the 
Music Hall below the orchestra, we com- 
menced with considerable spirit the study of 
Phonography, Mr. Knox taking charge of 
one room and I the other. 

The ladies and gentlemen composing the 
classes were apt pupils, and many of 
them became members of the Phonetic 
Society. In June, i860, the classes 
closed, and a meeting was held in the 
Lecture Room of the Mechanics' Institute, 
Market Street, when Mr. Knox and the 
writer, in addition to receiving the_ thanks of 
the pupils, were presented with substantial 
tokens of their appreciation, the one receiving 
a handsome clock and the other a very pretty 
Bohemian vase. 

A. S. C. 



BROWN'S for BIBLES 



83 and 85 Union Street. 



Brown s Book-Stall. 



STORYLANDERS. 

" After you had left me at midnight, I returned to the fireside with laughter at thy last quip on 
my lips, but as I reflected on the thesis you so wittily maintained, that Pickwick we know better than we 
know each other, there fell on me, like the shock of a great sorrow, the thought that in the reunion of 
souls Pickwick and his companions will be looked for in vain." — Extract from " The Letters of Two." 




alTH the day goes the casual acquaintance, 
With the years the companions and friends, 
With the seasons their sins and repentance, 
And the loves that time borrows and lends. 
All silent the tongues that could charm us, 

All rigid the faces that smiled, 
All stifled the breaths that could harm us, 

The lips that beguiled. 
Time ruthlessly withers the blossom, 

As, unfolding, its petals are stirred, 
And bleeding loves tears from the bosom, 

Like quills from the quivering bird. 
Like ripples that rise on the river, 

Like blooms that are blown from the spray, 
A flutter, a gleam, then for ever 

Effaced and away. 
The comrades that struggled beside us 

Through the prime of the vigorous years, 
The loves that did charm us or chide us 

In ranging through laughter and tears. 
They are left with the flowers in the valleys, 

The Edens called Yesterday, 
Where the guard of the fiery sword rallies, 

None re-enter that way. 
And the starlight of memory lifteth 

But dimly, the darkness that hides 
Each face that dissolveth and shifteth 

Like the tremulous ebbing of tides. 
As they fall through a drear night of winter, 

With the dimly seen foam at the brink, 
And writhing and moaning re-enter 

Their caverns, and sink. 
O, loves that we leaned on and doted, 

O, friends that we cherished and chose, 
O, comrades upholding, devoted, 

The fight to its uttermost close. 
Though each soul to its utmost revealing, 

To each soul its dim innermost shrine, 
With the lapse of the years comes the feeling 

I know naught of thine. 
For ever a barrier looming, 

lor ever grey shadowings roll, 
And the light is obscured by a glooming, 
When the yearning soul seeketh a soul. 



But thou the bright mime of a story, 

A fiction, a dream of the brain, 
Down the years treading clear in thy glory 

Familiar to men. 
No age brings of loneness the anguish, 

Still young as still old as the years, 
No friendships that lessen or languish, 

No grave in the clay with its fears. 
No kindred know I as I know thee, 

The mists round the spirits that roll 
Have lifted and shifted and shew me 

Thy intimate soul. 
The comrade whose handgrip has thrilled me, 

The friends that my bosom have pressed, 
The throbbing blood surging that filled me 

When red lips of love have caressed, 
In a mystical moonlight beholden, 

Whilst thou art revealed in the dawn, 
Transparent, tinged roseleaf and golden, 

Thy soul as mine own. 
But ever eternity loometh, 

Remote, unfamiliar, and dim, 
And I furtively gaze where it gloometh, 

With glimmer uncertain and grim. 
One by one, lo, each wayfarer wendeth 

Down the road that leads out from the crowd, 
And passes from sight where it bendeth 

In mists that enshroud. 
In turn I reluctantly follow, 

Faintly trusting the bend that obscures, 
Being passed will reveal on the morrow 

The comrades who passed it before. 
For each in his turn has uptaken 

Some joy, and has left me a pain ; 
The joy will return and rewaken 

My spirit again. 
But sorely I weep in my sorrow, 

Oppressed with the thoughts that appal, 
That ye cannot come where the morrow 

In dawning unitest us all. 
Ye are but the mimes of a story, 

A dream of the life of to-day, 
With the daybreak after-time glory 

Ye vanish away. Deux. 



Brown's Book-Stall. 



323 




No. 18.— MR. ARCHD. D. REID, A.R.S.A. 




In framing Artists Art hath thus decreed— 
To make some good, but others to exceed : 
And you're her laboured scholar. 

Pericles, ii., 3. 

O said Simonides in one of those 
complimentary speeches 
which either Shakespeare or 
George Wilkins — there is, I 
understand, some slight doubt 
about the matter — helped 
him to make, and, though 
the remark was addressed to 
Pericles, Prince of Tyre, 
(who, probably, never drew a line in his life), it is 
none the less particularly applicable to the dis- 
tinguished member of a distinguished family who, 
doubtless realising that celebrities must endure trials 
which do not fall to the lot of more ordinary mortals, 
has been good enough to allow me to say (in my own 
way, and however inadequately), something about 
him in this series. Not that Mr. Archibald Reid will 
thank me for referring to him as a celebrity — he is far 
too unassuming a gentleman to care to be looked 
upon as a person of any special importance, but this 
is a point on which the mere outsider must be allowed 
a preference of opinion even prior to that of the indi- 
vidual mainly concerned. Without doubt, if we except 
his brother the President, Mr. A. D. Reid is, by a 
very considerable way, the finest artist Aberdeen has 
produced for many a year, and his careful and con- 
scientious work has done much to maintain the Art 
prestige on which the City so justly prides itself. 
Mr. Reid is no notoriety hunter. No inspired 
paragraphs about what he has done or what he hasn't 
done, the location of his next winter quarters, or the 
distinguished visitor who called on him and promised 
to lend, let us say a New Master to the next 



Artists' Exhibition — paragraphs which may or may 
not be of colossal interest to the general public, but 
which, judging by the frequency of their appearance, 
must evidently be considered as vastly more important 
than the question of the Liberal Leadership or the 
progress of the Peace Crusade, by their instigators — 
ever go the round of the local press about him. He 
has done nothing alarmingly sensational ; his pictures 
are not reckoned by the square yard, and* their 
dimensions mentioned in the evening papers ; he has 
not presented a picture to the Art Gallery ; nor does 
he seek to set himself up as a graven image to which, 
in matters artistic, all others should render obeisance. 
Mr. Reid rightly regards his Art as something, if not 
a little lower than the angels, at least a little above 
Johnston's watches (excellent though they may be), 
and as such, fails to see the necessity for securing the 
Town Drummer to sing its praises. 

That two members of the same family should gain 
distinction in one profession, has been, since the days 
of the Great Twin Brethren, a comparatively common 
occurrence, but it is seldom that three brothers all 
win name and fame in the same walk of life. Indeed 
the only parallel cases to that of Sir George, Mr. 
A. D. , and Mr. Sam Reid (who, it is almost un- 
necessary to mention, are all artists of note), which 
occur to me at the moment — though the subject is an 
interesting one, and an article on brothers of famous 
men who are also famous would be well worth read- 
ing — are those of Cardinal Vaughan and his brothers, 
who have attained some of the highest positions the 
Church can confer on her servants ; the three Healys, 
Timothy, Thomas, and Maurice, who have gained a 
slight reputation as politicians, and a brilliant one as 
Irish members, which is not quite the same thing ; 
and, if one may also reckon the World of Sport, the 
instances of the three Graces — W.G., E. M., and (the 



Brown's Book-Stall. 



325 



late) G.F., and the brothers Studd, all cricketers of 
almost world-wide reputation. But this is professedly 
a Note on the career of a black-and-white artist — 
though the reader might readily be forgiven if he had 
forgotten or even failed to realise the fact — and it 
might be just as well, before ventilating any other 
topic to say something on the main question — to wit, 
the story of the earlier days of that well-known 
painter and genial gentleman, Mr. A. D. Reid, 
A. U.S.A. 

Mr. Reid is not a black-and-white man in the 
ordinary sense of the word. That is to say you will 
look in the pages of the Sketch (magnificently 
illustrated though they be), the Graphic, or the 
hundred and one other illustrated periodicals of 
to-day, yesterday, and to-morrow, (for these spring up 
like the gourd of Jonah in a night,) in vain for 
specimens of his work. But if you are a collector, 
with a little black-and-white gallery of your own, you 
will point with pride to at least one beautiful charcoal 
drawing which bears the signature of the President's 
younger brother. His "charcoals" are famous far 
beyond the City boundary, and are eagerly bought up 
whenever they appear on the market. One of these, 
thanks to the readily given permission of Mr. Reid, 
and the courtesy of Mr. Gifford, in whose Saloon the 
drawing is at present, we have been able to reproduce 
in this issue, and though the picture suffers consider- 
ably in reduction, it will, in a measure, afford 
some slight idea of the excellence of the artist's 
work. While on the subject of our illustrations, I 
would like also to express our indebtedness to Mr. 
Reid for his kindness in placing at my disposal for use 
in the Book-Stall the capital little pencil sketch, 
" Ferryden, Montrose," now published for the first 
time, as well as for the photograph, specially taken 
for these pages by Mr. Edmund Geering, the well- 
known city "sun artist." 

"Story! God bless you, I have none to tell, 
sir ! " remarked Mr. Reid in the words of the 
needy knife-grinder, when I ventured with character- 
istic shyness to suggest that out of the goodness of 
his heart he might allow the fierce light which is 
popularly supposed to beat upon thrones and (on 
occasion), on black-and-white artists, to be turned on 
by me for the benefit of Book-Stall readers. 

"Or," he added, "none at least the telling of 
which — even with the aid of your literary skill " (at 
which, as Pope puts it, having "done good by 



stealth," I "blushed to find it fame,") "could by any 
possibility interest your readers." 

"There, Mr. Reid," I replied, "I venture to 
think you are in error. Waiving for the moment 
your appreciative reference to my ' literary skill ' " (a 
reference which it is unnecessary to point out at once 
stamped the gentleman in the witness box, if not as a 
critic of a very severe order, at least as the possessor 
of a very pretty wit), "a person who, though he has 
not been prominently identified with the public life of 
our City ; who has no aspirations to the Provostship ; 
who never stood for the Town Council ; nor even 
ventured to ventilate his views on the Byron Statue or 
the Greyfriars Question in the public prints which do 
duty for newspapers ; has yet been so fortunate as 
you in meeting, alike in a private capacity and during 
the ordeal of having their portraits painted, when a 
man naturally tries to put the best face possible on 
things, cannot fail to have many recollections of great 
interest." 

[Of course the reader will understand that I didn't 
manage to say it all off as nicely as in the foregoing, 
but I have here written what I might have said but 
for the natural shyness of my disposition, and other 
reasons. ] 

"You Interviewers " began Mr. Reid, but as I 

whisked out my note book and pencil preparatory to 
perpetuating his opinion of present day journalism, 
he must have remembered his Tennyson too literally — 

Let the peoples spin for ever 

Down the ringing grooves of change, 

for he adroitly turned the conversation into other 
channels, and this unique opportunity of "seeing 
oorsel's as ithers see us " was gone and lost for ever 
like the hapless Clementine. 

It was in '44, just when the then Russian Emperor 
visited this country, and in good time to take part in 
the Tractarian Movement had he been so minded, 
that Mr. Reid made his debut on Life's Stage. He 
was born and brought up in the " braif toun " — pet 
phrase of the local historian — and took his first 
draught of the Pierian Spring at " The Trades 
School," of which the worthy Thomas Rodger, 
irreverently termed by the boys, "Snuffy Rodger," 
was at the time Head Master. At the mature age of 
ten he entered Gordon's College, or rather Gordon's 
Hospital as it then was, and thus forms one of the 
long list of now famous " Sillerton " boys. Here he 
remained for four years, during which his instructors 



326 



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. . . by . . . 

James Dowman. 

SECOND EDITION. Crown 8vo, Boards 



OPINIONS OF THE PRESS. 

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makes no fasle promises, but exactly fits the character 
and quality of the book. He has considerable facility 
in rhyme. His themes are many and mostly of a 
popular kind. Some of his songs are very acceptable, 
such as " Coortin' in the Kailyaird," which is a gem 
of its kind, and might, if set to good music, become 
famous. 

The Academy says : — Has a certain directness 
and melody. There are verses, too, from which you 
may draw your fill of the little ironies of our common 
human destiny. 

The Dundee Advertiser says : — Many of the 
pieces are bright, inspiring, and musical. 

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superior productions. The love poems especially are 
melodious and tender in tone. 

The North British Advertiser says — The whole 
of the poems are < haracterised by easy and faultless 
rhyme. Mr. Dowman is fairly entitled to rank among 
the best of our minor poets. 

The Brechin Advertiser says — A selection of 
verse, much of it characterised by outspoken manliness 
of tone. 

The Weekly News says : —There will be found 
among the sixty fine effusions, or thereby, sufficient 
poetic merit to place the author well up in the lists of 
balladists. 

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ranges impartially from grave to gay, from the senti- 
mental lyric to the topical ditty. His songs have a 
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NOW READY. 



NOW READY. 



F'cap 4to, in Handsome Cover specially designed 
by Mr. William Smith. 
Price, 1/6 Net ; Post Free, 1/9 ; or Neatly Bound 
in Art Linen, 2/6 Net ; Post Free, 2/9. 

AT THE SIGfl Of THE 
BHDSH AJID PEfl: 

Being Notes on Some Black and White Artists 
of To-day. 

By J. G. REID. 



The Volume contains Articles on and Interviews with the 
following Artists : — 



Aberdeen : A. BROWN & CO. 



Sir GEORGE REID, /'.R.S.A. 

A. S. BOYD, R.S.W. 

A. CHASEMORE. 

FRANK CRAIG. 

T. E. DONNISON. 

A. S. HARTRICK. 



FRED. T. JANE. 
HARRY PAYNE. 
W. RALSTON. 
WALTER SICKERT. 
E. J. SULLIVAN. 
W. F. THOMAS. 



The Articles are very Fully Illustrated with Portraits of the 
Artists and Specimens of their Work — most of the Drawings 
having been specially executed for publication in the Volume. 



PRESS NOTICES— 
The " SKETCH " says : 

"A very interesting and unconventional 
sketch of some Black and White Artists of 
the day. . . . Mr. Reid has a bright way 
of stating the characteristics of each." 

The " SCOTS PICTORIAL" says: 

" Lively little sketches — half ' pen por- 
traits,' half interviews — of some of the more 
notable black and white artists of to-day. 
The book is excellent reading, and besides 
what Mr. Reid has to say about them the 
artists speak volubly for themselves in 
numerous and typical examples of their 
work." 



Brown > s Book-Stall. 



327 



failed not to follow the advice of the old Grammarian — 
Oh ye, who teach the ingenuous youth of nations — 
Holland, France, England, Germany or Spain, 
I pray ye flog them upon all occasions : 
It mends their morals : never mind the pain. 
Thereafter, his mind and morals being presumably in 
a thoroughly satisfactory state, he entered the count- 
ing house of that well-known patron of Art, Mr. 
John Forbes White, as clerk and office boy. From 
there, after four years' service, he migrated to Broad- 
ford works, where he spent a period of like duration 
under the Messrs. Richards. 

" I never had any head for figures," remarked Mr. 
Reid, as he recalled those days at the desk, "and 
cordially detested business life. During these many 
years of uncongenial work I longed to be an artist, 
and I'm sadly afraid I wasted much of my employer's 
time — not to mention his stationery — in making 
sketches on blotting pads and fly-leaves of invoice 
books, when I should have been running-up summa- 
tions as long as the letters on the mat which the 
Irishman stole. 

" Tell you the story?" he continued, as I begged 
for further particulars. " Well, there isn't very much 
of it — just the sort of anecdote which the ' professed 
humourist ' of the Peoples Journal ' Good Stories ' 
column would revel in— if perhaps not quite so 
hoary. Pat, who figures as the hero of the adventure, 
had stolen a mat, but had the misfortune to be caught 
in flagrante delicto. Asked by the Bailie what he 
had to say for himself he answered with the ready 
wit of his nation — Shnre, yer Honour, had it not 
WELCOME on it in letters as long as yer arrm ? " 

During his period of office life Mr. Reid attended 
the drawing classes in the old Mechanics' Institute in 
Market Street, going to them, with the enthusiasm 
of a true artist, after he left Mr. White's office at eight 
in the evening. No ten to four, with an hour for 
lunch in those days ! The class was held from eight 
until ten, and after it was over Mr. Reid took his 
drawing-board home, and worked cheerfully until the 
early hours of the following morning. " Hell itself 
must yield to industry," says rare Ben, and it is little 
wonder that Mr. Reid's progress in his beloved Art 
was at once rapid and satisfactory. At this period, 
however, his ideas in Art were more directed towards 
Sculpture than to Painting, and he remembers on one 
occasion how, with great fear and trembling, he 
summoned up courage to call on the late Alexander 
Brodie and ask permission to be allowed to watch 
him at work. 



At this period of the proceedings I ventured to 
point out to Mr. Reid that any recollections of the 
famous sculptor and friend of Philip would be highly 
appreciated, and his reply I give verbatim : — 

" Atfthe lime of my visit, Brodie had a studio in 
a tumble-down house in a Court somewhere near the 
top of Justice Street. I suppose that house and 
Court, too, have disappeared, but I daresay that 
many who were boys in ' the fifties,' such as your 







• c 



Photo by E. Geering, Union Street. 

genial chronicler Mr. ' Clements,' who may, perhaps, 
be able to say something about it in the course of his 
reminiscences, will remember it from its proximity 
to John Black's Museum. That institution was 
famed for possessing, among other wonderful objects, 
a genuine bit of all that remained of Lot's wife. If 
there were any sceptics who questioned the authen- 
ticity of the relic, their doubts could be confounded 
and themselves put to shame by the application of 
the tip of the tongue to the somewhat dirty morsel. 



Brown's Book-Stall. 



329 



The fact that it really tasted salt was conclusive 
evidence to the mind of the management, if not to the 
Unbeliever, that it could be nothing else save what it 
was represented to be ! 

" Mr. Brodie was very kind and pleasant, and not 
only gave me an insight into the way of manipulating 
clay, but also lent me plaster casts to copy. 

" In my sculptor days," Mr. Reid continued, " I 
made a good many models of various things, but as 
they were only in pipe-clay they gradually got broken. 
The last one I did — the model of a lion over which I 
had burned much midnight oil — was knocked about 
the house for some time, and at length was, I imagine, 
broken up by an iconoclastic housemaid and used for 
some ignoble domestic purpose." 

" Almost another case of 

' Imperious C;esar, dead and turned to clay, 
Might stop a hole to keep the wind away,' " 
I suggested. 

" And thus," concluded Mr. Reid dramatically, 
" ended my career as a sculptor." 

It had been a long and an uphill fight, but as 
Herrick says — 

Perseverance is a Roman virtue 

That wins each god-like act, and plucks success 

E'en from the spear-proof crest of rugged danger, 

and at last, in 1867, setat 23, Archibald Reid was 
enabled to say good-bye to desk and office stool, and 
with a light heart, and a still lighter purse, to plunge 
into the Unknown. In November of that, to him, 
eventful year, he went to Edinburgh, and there 
attended the drawing classes at the Royal Institute 
and the R.S.A. Life Class. For three happy winters 
he pursued this course of study, varying the life by 
painting in the country in summer time or visiting 
Aberdeen — helping to make ends meet by doing small 
water-colour drawings, touching up photographic 
portrait enlargements and so on ; in fact doing the 
usual sort of work at the usual pay generally given 
and received by the young traveller on the long road 
to Art. However, encouragement was not altogether 
wanting, and Mr. Reid mentions with considerable 
pride that his first water-colour was bought by the 
good ex-Dean of Guild Walker, to whom many a 
struggling artist has owed so much in the way of help 
of the most practical and appreciated kind. 

In 1874, in company with his friend, the Rev. 
James Peter of Old Deer, he paid his first visit to 
Belgium and Holland. The latter country with its 
old towns and villages, its low horizons and grey, 



luminous skies has ever, he confesses, had a great 
fascination for him, and he has frequently returned to 
it — always to find the old charm renewed. 

" Speaking of my first visit to Holland, and my 
companion Mr. Peter," remarked Mr. Reid, 
"reminds me of some very pleasant meetings that 
about this time — during the seventies — used to take 
place in the hospitable Manse of Deer, under the 
presidency of "The Abbot," as we used to call our 
host. Mr. Peter was a man full of artistic 
sympathies, fond of artists' society, and had himself 
a very considerable amount of artistic ability. The 
late George Paul Chalmers was at this period 
frequently in Aberdeen, living with Mr. J. F. White ; 
I had my studio in King Street, the use of which 1 
gave to Chalmers, and there he painted some of his 
finest pictures, including his well-known " End of 
the Harvest " ; my brother George had still his 
headquarters in the City, and in the month of January, 
when our Exhibition pictures were finished and sent 
off to Edinburgh in time for " sending-in " day, we 
felt that we were entitled to a little relaxation. And 
then to Old Deer, that oasis in the desert of Buchan, 
we would hie, there finding rest and refreshment. 

"Chalmers, J. F. White, my brother, and myself 
usually composed the contingent from Aberdeen, but 
once or twice we had Professor Robertson Smith, 
and once David Gill, now Astronomer-Royal at the 
Cape. Then we had stately, courteous Dr. Gavin 
from Strichen, good George Peter from Kemnay, and 
Dr. Kerr, then Inspector of Schools in the North of 
Scotland, or ' The Go-o-vernment ' as he was called 
by the school children, and others — all good fellows 
and all in sympathy with painting, painters, and Art 
in every form. 

" There was much good talk and fun, and a good 
dinner, the principal feature of which was a mighty 
cod from Peterhead, the like of which doesn't swim 
the sea now-a-days, and which has been much 
celebrated in song by more than one member of the 
company. And of course there was plenty of tobacco 
smoke, and a due allowance of whisky toddy, and 
Chalmers in his enthusiastic way would talk about 
Art, and speeches were made, and ' The Abbot ' 
would sing ' The Fine Old English Gentleman,' and 
George Peter would give us one of his own clever 
poems, or Dr. Gavin would troll out ' A Wet Sheet 
and a Flowing Sea ' — fresh and breezy as himself. 
Alas ! that all those voices should be hushed in 
death." 



33* 



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33* 



In 1878 Mr. Reid spent some months in Paris, 
working from " the life " in the atelier of M. Julien. 
It was an evil-smelling place, he says, crammed to 
suffocation with students of many different national- 
ities — Frenchmen, Spaniards, Yankees, Englishmen, 
and Scotchmen. There much work was carried on 
amidst a great deal of tobacco smoke and horse-play, 
and, occasionally, when a dispute arose as to the 
merits of certain artists, the place became a perfect 
Pandemonium, stilled only by the persistent cries of 
Assez ! Assez ! from the older students. 

I begged for some reminiscences of those student 
days, suggestive as they were of Trilby, Little Billee, 
and the Quartier Latin, whereupon Mr. Reid, ever 
ready to oblige, resumed — 

" In the after part of the day I used to work in the 
studio of my friends, T. Millie Dow and Robert 
W. Allan (whose picture, ' The North Ford,' has 
just been purchased by the Corporation), who were 
living together in Bohemian fashion near the Boule- 
vard d'Enfer. I look back upon this period of my 
life," he continued, "with great pleasure. Some six 
or seven of us — Scotchmen all, with the exception of 
two, who were from the wrong side of the Border, 
used to meet in the Studio, where we had a model 
whom we paid amongst us. Here one could work 
in peace and quietness, and have plenty of fun too. 
Then after work, in the evening there was the 
adjournment to a cheap restaurant for dinner, with 
its doubtful dishes and its very blue wine ; or, if we 
were in funds, there would be a little dinner on a 
more expensive scale, and a bottle or two of Vin 
Superienre, over which we would grow eloquent 
about Art and the great masterpieces we were all 
going to paint by and bye. Then there would be a 
pleasant day at Meudon, or in the woods of Vincennes, 
and we knew Taffy and the Laird and Trilby and 
Madame Vinard, although they went by other names 
in our time." 

In 1881 Mr. Reid visited Spain, where he spent a 
couple of months travelling and sketching in different 
parts of the country with his friend Robert Allan. 
Since then he has usually spent the greater part of the 
summer sketching in different places — sometimes at 
home and sometimes abroad, the result being many 
pictures both in oil and water colour. Of these, 
however, with the exception of a few in local 
collections, and one which was purchased for a 
public Gallery in New Zealand, he admits he has 
lost all trace, though several of them have been 



bought at different times by the Royal Association for 
the Promotion of Fine Arts in Scotland. To bring 
his record up to date : he was elected in 1892 an 
Associate of the Royal Scottish Academy, and in 1897 
a Membef of the Institute of Painters in Oil (London), 
while he is also a Member of the Royal Scottish 
Water Colour Society. 

He has, as I have indicated, done little in the way 
of book illustration, only one drawing, he tells me, 
so far as he can remember, having been engraved. 
That appeared some six or seven years ago in Life 
and Work, and was an illustration to somebody's 
verses about a Dutch milkmaid. With reference to 
the charcoal drawings already referred to, it may be 
mentioned that they are done upon a French drawing 
paper, and afterwards fixed to prevent injury by 
rubbing. 

As a portrait painter, Mr. Reid takes a deservedly 
high position— not only as a local, but as a British 
artist. Though his work has been principally con- 
fined to portraits of private individuals, he has also 
done several of a public or semi-public nature, 
including those of Mr. Smith, City Chamberlain of 
Banff ; Mr. and Mrs. Sleigh of Strichen ; Provost 
Hutcheon, Turriff; John Colvin, the old Sacrist; 
the replica of Sir George's portrait of Sir William 
Henderson ; and Mr. James Davidson, the genial 
and able Manager of the Scottish Employers' Liability 
and Accident Insurance Company, the last— a 
particularly fine piece of work and an admirable 
likeness of the Scottish " Chief "—being presented to 
their Manager by the members of the staff as a token 
of their esteem and regard on the occasion of the 
tenth anniversity of the birth of that very successful 
company. 

Personally Mr. Reid is, like his brothers, a kindly- 
hearted, generous, unassuming individual, ever ready 
to help a brother of the brush and pen. His modesty 
is but a candle to his merit, and in local art circles, 
as well as in those in the " arenas of the south " there 
is no one whose company is more welcome or whose 
opinion is more readily received than Mr. Archibald 
D. Reid, A.R.S.A. 

J. G. R. 



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No. 55. 



March, 



Price One Penny. 




MORE ABERDEEN WORTHIES. 

MR. GEORGE DEMPSAY. 

HESE fragmentary 
articles almost uncon- 
sciously afford the 
writer convenient op- 
portunity to exercise 
the liberty, so to speak, 
of a roving commis- 
sion. And while try- 
ing, as far as possible, 
to confine oneself to 
purely local celebrities, 
i.e., men who have 
lived all their lives in Aberdeen, there must 
of necessity, time and again, be a turning aside 
to discuss " subjects " who have not entirely 
made "a local habitation and a name" among 
us. In my last ramble I endeavoured to des- 
cribe "a pantomime in the sixties," and the 
glare of the footlights has proved too much 
for me. I am only beginning to realise that 
these reminiscences are likely to prove but a 
sorry, tangled skein. So many varied experi- 
ences and remembrances crop up in one's 
mind that it becomes well-nigh impossible to 
classify them— hence this apologetic paragraph. 
It has become a well-worn axiom that 
"Truth is sometimes stranger than fiction," 
and this, too, notwithstanding Louis de Rouge- 
mont's assertion that truth must be flavoured 
and spiced with fiction in order to make it 
it palatable to the average reader ! The 
history of the life of Mr. George Dempsay, 



the subject of the present paper, belies any 
such assertion. It reads more like a romance 
than a statement of fact. 

George Dempsay was born towards the 
end of the twenties, and is thus over seventy 
years of age. A keen, alert, but quiet and 
unassuming man, Mr. Dempsay lives an 
almost secluded life in Bon-Accord, his native 
city. His parents were of humble origin, 
domesticated and taking a lively interest in 
the welfare of their family, of whom the two 
eldest were boys — George and Tom. As 
mere children the two youngsters took a 
lively interest in matters theatrical, and 
George began his public career in Aberdeen 
as call-boy to Mr. Barry Sullivan, the eminent 
tragedian, in 1840. It says much for the 
camaraderie of the stage that the acquaint- 
ance thus early begun, and the friendship 
that followed, continued uninterrupted to the 
time of Mr. Sullivan's death. Many and 
frequent were the communications that 
passed between these two comrades, and 
Sullivan never visited Aberdeen without 
looking up his old call-boy, and together 
the veterans " fought their battles o'er again." 
"Never a better man breathed, never a 
stauncher friend ; never a finer actor trod the 
boards, than Barry Sullivan,"is Mr. Dempsay's 
tribute to his late chief. I have before me 
three photographs, the property of Mr. 
Dempsay, of Mr. Sullivan, taken in London 
by the famous Messrs, W. & D. Downey in 
1875, and presented by the great actor "to 
Mr. George Dempsay with kind remembrances 
of Barry Sullivan, 5th Feby., '75." One of 



»34 



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these depicts the favourite provincial tragedian 
in his famous impersonation of Hamlet. 
The pose is life-like and graphic. The actor 
is seated, holding the skull of Yorick, and 
the picture would form an apt illustration to 
the famous speech in the play beginning : — 

" Alas, poor Yorick ! I knew him, Horatio ; 
a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy ; 
he hath borne me on his back a thousand times ! 
and now, how abhorred in my imagination it is ! 
My gorge rises at it." 

The other two photographs represent Mr. 
Sullivan in walking costume ; the light- 
coloured trousers, the frock-coat buttoned, 
and the white "tall" hat, with its black band, 
laid on a table before which the actor stands. 
But, I digress. 

The two little Dempsays laid their heads 
together very early in life, and the project 
they evolved through this joint action was a 
grand one ! Neither of them seem to have 
recognised any special histrionic ability 
inherent in them, but both were enamoured 
of public applause. Like an endless song 
of joy and triumph, it rang in their young 
ears. The melody welled out strong and 
clear, and it was sweet to listen to, even 
though they then took no part in it. But 
if purely histrionic ability was denied them, 
they would still become professionals, they 
would make for themselves names on the 
stage ! And so it came about that the little 
fellows, in their spare time, turned their 
attention to gymnastics. There were no 
physical training colleges to assist and egg 
on youthful aspirants, but, nothing daunted, 
the Dempsays set about the founding of a 
" college " which was all " their very own." 
Embryo actors, on the other hand, were 
much better off, for had they not old Peter 
Crone, who then lived in Shoe Lane, I 
think, to " coach " them on Sundays when 
the kirks were in ! Willie Lowe, who was 
here with Mr. Osmond Tearle only the other 
week, " could a tale unfold " with regard to 
those Sunday lessons. Crone's was, I fear, 
a rough aud ready school, and as he was 
latterly a great martyr to gout, his invariable 
" speech," while " teaching the young idea 
how to shoot," may have had a double 



meaning. He usually sat in a chair, and 
every now and again he delivered himself in 
tragic tones thus : — " O, my God, what have 
I done 1<hat I should be thus afflicted ? " 
As his gaze was directed ceiling-wards, it is 
to be presumed that his agonised query was 
genuine, and that he really expected to be 
enlightened upon what may have seemed to 
him a moot point ! But, I must cry your 
mercy, dear reader, for again digressing. 

The Dempsay's practising gymnasium was 
a disused stable, where, with the aid of a 
couple of stout cart ropes and a rough bar of 
wood, they erected for themselves a " flying " 
trapeze, fastening the ends of the ropes over 
the couples of the building. Here they 
rehearsed their various feats, sometimes 
together, at other times singly. By dint of 
perseverance and a dogged determination to 
excel in their project, together with the few 
object lessons then available through attend- 
ing performances at circuses, the Dempsay's 
at length overcame all obstacles and qualified 
themselves as full-fledged gymnasts. Of fear- 
less, not to say daring disposition, the youths 
at last set out to try and win fame. Together 
they toured full of hope, energy, and enthus- 
iasm. Come what might, they would 
command success. They would put "a 
stout heart to a stey brae," and some day, 
perhaps, they would come back to the 
Granite City crowned with laurels ! Thus 
did those youthful day-dreamers build their 
rosy castles in the air. Slowly, but resolutely, 
did the brothers Dempsay work their way 
south, picking up an engagement here and 
there en route. Sometimes they were success- 
ful in " striking a good thing," but quite as 
often having to " rough it," in the booth or 
under small canvas, as so many more had 
to do in their time. " Agents " were not 
then the ban of the stage, music-hall, or 
circus professions, and booking " full up " 
for two or three years in advance was not 
dreamed of. Those were the days when 
hard persevering work and real merit came 
up top in these professions. 

At length, after many vicissitudes and 
privations our gymnast friends reached Man- 
chester, where, luckily for them, their fame 



33° 



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Brown *s Book-Stall. 



337 



had preceded them. Here they entered 'into 
a lengthy engagement with the management 
at the Colosseum. The trapeze act of the 
Dempsays was unique in its day, and 
soon set the ears of all Manchester. They 
did well by this engagement, and " made a 
bit" over it. The partnership of the two 
brothers was, however, dissolved, and George, 
having always a warm corner in his heart for 
Aberdeen, shortly after " made tracks " for 
his native city. Here, on 13th December, 
1852, he made his first appearance in the 
Theatre Royal, Marischal Street. The day- 
bill thus announced Mr Dempsay : — 

EXTRAORDINARY NOVELTY, 
Never before attempted in Aberdeen. 

The Managers have much pleasure in announcing 
that they have secured the services 

FOR TWO NIGHTS ONLY ! 

OF 

Mr. G. DEMPSAY 

(From the Colosseum, Manchester), 

Who will go through his Astonishing Performance 
on the Single Trapeze ! 

Suspended from the Ceiling ! ! 

(His First Professional Appearance in his Native Town.) 

The almost incredible Feats of Gymnastique 
Performed by Mr. Dempsay on the Trapeze, 
at this Great Altitude, must be seen to be 
believed. They cannot be described, and are 
only second to 

The Celebrated Italian Brothers. 

Very considerable interest was manifested 
by the inhabitants of the Granite City in the 
two appearances of their youthful townsman 
at the Theatre Royal. His " show " was 
quite new, and as I have already said, clever, 
daring and unique. The butcher boys, who 
in those days were much given to whistling 
the melodies of all the most popular songs, and 
who for accuracy in difficult operatic airs 
would have made a prima donna of the time 
"sit up," so to speak, sat perched in the 
gallery and sweeps' boxes and watched the 
performance with bated breath, and rewarded 
young Dempsay with cheer after cheer. 
This was the beginning of an eventful career, 



during which Mr. Dempsay fulfilled many 
engagements, here, there, and everywhere. 
But the work became hard and exhausting, 
and, after some years, our hero dropped it 
for what proved lighter and easier work. 

Towards the beginning of the sixties, Mr. 
William Gray, who was at the time lessee of 
a fine bar in Exchequer Row, much frequented 
and patronised by the profession, and who 
latterly occupied the spirit vaults at the 
corner of Guild Street and Market Street, in 
which place he was followed by Mr. John 




Mr. George Dempsay. 

Stephen, opened the Mechanic's Hall, Market 
Street, as a music hall. There for several 
seasons Mr. Dempsay (who had assumed Mr. 
Edward McGuinness as a partner in what is 
known as knock-about Irish business*, man- 
aged the hall in conjunction with McGuinness, 
the firm's name being Dempsay and Mc- 
Guinness. These were the days of 
Fumerollo, Tom Maclaghan, George Ley- 
bourne and A. G. Vance, the famous 
exponents of " Champagne Charlie is my 
name," The Leggats — old Leggat is still alive 



;S 



Brown s Book-Stall. 



and hearty, and can sing and dance yet with 
the best of them ! — and many others that 
could be named. Sam Cowell was in the 
zenith of his fame and continuing to delight 
crowded houses with his remarkable songs, 
" The Cure, ' and " An 'orrible tale." The 
Mechanic's Hall is now virtually the large 
and spacious dining hall of the Bon-Accord 
Hotel. In the old days it had a gallery at the 
south end of the room — the stage being at 
the north end. It was not a large hall by 
any means for the special purposes for which 
it was leased, but many, many a first-rate 
entertainment was given within its four walls. 
It was in the Mechanic's Hall that I first saw 
that great exponent of mesmerism, " Dr. " 
Olliver; and it was there that old "Professor" 
Morgan was wont to demonstrate his ability 
to put to sleep all and sundry whom he 
invited to come on the little stage. Both 
are now dead. Olliver went on tour in 
America, and as far as I remember, he got 
mixed up in an amour in New York, where 
on the stage of the hall where he was 
performing, he met with a tragic death. He 
was shot dead by the brother of the girl 
whom it was alleged he had wronged. But 
I'm again off at a tangent. 

"Old Bob Ridley" was a famous negro 
song of the days I am now writing about. 
The music hall songs of the time were not 
any worse if they were not better than those 
we are accustomed to hear now — if we are to 
judge from the one I have just named. 
Here is a stanza that comes into my mind:- - 

" Old Bob Ridley, the engine driver, 
Hit him in the belly, and I burst his b'iler, 
I'm old Bob Ridley, oh ! 
I'm old Bob Ridley, oh ! 
I'm old Bob Ridley, oh, I, oh ! 
I'm old Bob Ridley, oh ! " 

Frank Clements. 

(To be Continued. ) 



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AT THE SIGJ1 Of THE 
BRUSH ftp PEH: 

Being Notes on Some Black and White Artists 
of To-day. 

By J. G. REID. 



The Volume contains Articles on and Interviews with the 
following Artists : — 



Sir GEORGE REID, P.R.S.A. 

A. S. BOYD, R.S.W. 

A. CHASEMORE. 

FRANK CRAIG. 

T. E. DONNISON. 

A. S. HARTRICK. 



FRED. T. JANE. 
HARRY PAYNE. 
W. RALSTON. 
WALTER SICKERT. 
E. J. SULLIVAN. 
W. F. THOMAS. 



The Articles are very Fully Illustrated with Portraits of the 
Artists and Specimens of their Work — most of the Drawings 
having been specially executed for publication in the Volume. 



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PRESS NOTICES— 

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"A very interesting and unconventional 
sketch of some Black and White Artists of 
the day. . . . Mr. Reid has a bright way 
of stating the characteristics of each." 

The "SCOTS PICTORIAL" says: 

" Lively little sketches — half ' pen por- 
traits,' half interviews — of some of the more 
notable black and white artists of to-day. 
The book is excellent reading, and besides 
what Mr. Reid has to say about them the 
artists speak volubly for themselves in 
numerous and typical examples of their 
work." 



Brown's Book-Stall. 



339 




No. 19.— MR. ALLAN STEWART. 



WAR AGAINST WAR ! 

THE CRUSADE DECLARED ! 

WHAT IS WANTED ! 

ONE MILLION VOLUNTEERS enrolled for 
service in the CRUSADE OF PEACE ! 

FIVE MILLION SIGNATURES to the 
ADDRESS TO THE TSAR ! 

SUBSCRIBERS for " WAR AGAINST 

WAR " One Penny Monthly. 

HESE were a few of the head- 
lines that caught my eye in 
the Review of Reviews the 
other day, and I knew that 
Stead was at it again. It 
was all so like our old friend 
Mr. Baxter of the Christian 
Herald, with his Beast with 
seven heads and ten horns, 
and the Abominations, and the Changing of the 
Kingdoms, and the arrival of the Millenium within a 
strictly limited number of years, and all that sort of 
thing. I had been caught by the Gazette with big 
headlines and little news before, however, and I turned 
with a sigh of relief to Great Thoughts, feeling sure 
that there, at all events, if I did not find some of my 
own, I would at least be comforted by the thoughts 
of other great minds. And this is what I read : — 

"After spending nearly three months upon the Continent in 
constant discussion and investigation, after having everywhere 
ascertained the views of those responsible for public affairs on 
the subject of the Peace Conference, Mr. Stead has returned 
home full of high hope, and confident that we are on the eve of 
a forward step in the progress of human society, from the 
savagery of lawless war to the reign of peace." 




It was Mr. Raymond Blathwayt, a sober-minded and 
cool-headed individual, who wrote, and I felt the 
matter required looking into. If the coming century 
was to be a Peace-at-any-price Age ; if, having grace- 
fully conceded about all we had left, we were also to 
disband our Highlanders and make pipe-playing a 
capital offence, the matter became one of grave public 
concern, and affected a not inconsiderable class of 
the community. What, for instance, had the artists 
to say to it ? 

So I hie me to Mr. Allan Stewart, one of our most 
distinguished painters of military pictures (and whose 
" Charge of the Gordon Highlanders at Dargai " 
created no slight sensation in Art circles on its being 
exhibited by the Fine Art Society at their Gallery 
in Bond Street in March and April of last year), 
with a view to interrogating him on this and on other 
matters. Mr. Stewart, though a Scotchman by birth 
and inclination, lives in sunny Maida Vale in North- 
West London, and it was there that the memorable 
conversation hereinafter set forth took place. 

I had been saying it over to myself all morning, 
and no sooner had I sighted Mr. Stewart in his Studio 
than I fired it off — 

" Yes," I said, in reply to his genial greeting, " it 
is a bit foggy, and there was a ten-minutes' block in 
the Euston Road as I came along, but Mr Stewart," 
I added impressively — 

" Shall we go throw away our coats of steel, 
And wrap our bodies in black mourning gowns, 
Numb'ring our Ave Marias with our beads? 
Or shall we on the helmets of our foes, 
Tell our devotion with revengeful arms ? 

as his Grace of Gloster puts it. " 

" I presume you refer to the collaboration of the 

Tsar and Stead — or perhaps I should rather say Stead 

and the Tsar ? — in the interests of Peace and the 

Review of Reviews" he answered with remarkable 

intuition. 



340 Brown's Book-Stall. 



A SCOTS' NICHT. 

An esteemed contributor in Australia sends us the following. 



'F you chance to strike a gathering of half-a-dozen friends 

Where the drink is Highland whisky or some chosen " border blends," 
And the room is full of " speirin " and the " gruppin "of brown " han's " 
And the talk is all of " tartans," and of " plaidies " and of " clans/' 
Vou can take things " douce " and easy, you can judge your going richt, 
For you've had the luck to stumble on a " wee Scots' nicht." 

When you're pitchforked in among them in a sweeping sort of way 
As " anither mon an' brither " from the Tweed or from the Tay, 
When you're taken by the " oxter " and you're " couped " into a chair, 
While someone slips a " whusky " in your tumbler unaware, 
Then the present seems less dismal and the future fair and " bricht," 
For you've struck earth's grandest treasure in a " guid Scots' nicht." 

When you hear a short name shouted and the same name shouted back 

Till you think in the confusion that they've all been christened " Mac," 

When yon see a red beard flashing in the corner by the fire, 

And a giant on the sofa who is six-foot three or higher, 

Before you've guessed the colour and before you've gauged the height, 

You'll have jumped at the conclusion it's a " braw Scots' nicht." 

When the red man in the corner puts his strong voice to the proof, 
As he gives the " Hundred Pipers," and the chorus lifts the roof, 
When a " chiel " sings " Annie Laurie " with its tender, sweet refrain, 
Till the tears are on their eyelids and — the drinks come round again, 
When they chant the stirring war-songs that would make the coward fight, 
Then you're fairly in the middle of a " wee Scots' nicht." 

When the plot begins to thicken and the band begins to play, 
When every tin-pot chieftain has a word or two to say, 
When they'd sell a Queensland station for a sprig of native heath, 
When there's one " Mac " on the table and a couple underneath, 
When half of them are sleeping and the whole of them are tight, 
You will know that you're assisting at a (hie) " Scots' nicht." 

When the last big bottle's empty and the dawn creeps gray and cold, 

And the last clan-tartan's folded and the last d d lie is told, 

When they totter down the footpath in a brave unbroken line, 
To the peril of the passers and the tune of " Auld Lang Syne," 
You can tell the folk at breakfast as they watch the fearsome " sicht," 
" They have only been assisting at a ' braw Scots' nicht,' " 



Brown's Book-Stall. 



34 



" I do," I continued. " And further, I want to 
know all about it — whether you artists who make (as 
everybody knows) fortunes of De Rougemont propor- 
tions by depicting the deeds of derring-do of the 
battlefield, and make the biggest Little Englander of 
us all long (weather permitting) to wear a kilt and 
translate Kipling, are going to go in for Church 
decoration or organ-grinding with a possible peerage ? 
In short, how you look upon this general disarmament 
theory, and whether you are all buying annuities in 
view of possible contingencies ? " 

" I'm afraid," the well known artist replied, " I 
am rather too prejudiced a person to give expression 
to any opinion (suitable for publication) on the subject. 
But, to be candid, though it all sounds very beautiful 
and conjures up visions of a busy time and, I should 
think, a rather trying occupation for the blacksmith 
in turning swords into ploughshares and all that sort 
of thing, I'm afraid that it has hardly, as yet, at all 
events, come within the range of practical politics. 
At anyiate I can still sleep well o' nights, for even if 
this picturesque (and Utopian) proposition should be 
realised, I can live for a time on the Past, for there 
still is one or two battles which I have not yet 
pictured, and which, if the painting of such be not 
prohibited by Act of Parliament, may come in handy. 
And," he added, " I'm very much inclined to think 
there will be one or two more before we reach that 
ideal state of which Longfellow — quotations are per- 
missible, I presume ?— wrote — 

" Were half the power that fills the world with terror, 
Were half the world bestow'd on camps and courts, 
Given to redeem the human mind from error, 
There were no need for arsenals and forts !" 

Allan Stewart — the very name smacks of Bonnie 
Prince Charlie and Allan Breck, and conjures up 
visions of claymores and dirks and wild deeds among 
the hills and heather — is, as I have said, a genuine 
son of Scotland, having been born in Edinburgh, and 
educated at the Institution there. He has a soft side 
for Aberdeen, for his father was an Aberdeenshire 
man, and he has many friends in, or who hail from 
this Deputational Town. As in the case of many 
another who has subsequently found his true vocation 
in Art — though he had always a fondness for pictures, 
and even in the earliest stages of his career was never 
so happy as when possessed of a pencil and a piece of 
paper — Mr. Stewart did not begin life with a view to 
becoming a painter. In consequence, he had no 
regular Art training, and has had to pay the usual 



penalty of many years of hard work and study. On 
leaving school he tried his 'prentice hand at business, 
but the Artistic Temperament and the Sales Ledger 
are an ill-assorted pair, and he never could be said to 
have followed out Shakespeare's assertion — 

" To business that we love, we rise betimes 
And go to it with delight.' 




MR. ALLAN STEWART. 
(Specially drawn by him for " Brown's Book-Stall.") 

He never took kindly to the gentle Art of Long 
Addition, and finally he decided, as the historical 
man who couldn't read the legendary riddle is asserted 
to have done, to give it up, and, in 1886, commenced 
his career as an artist. Being at the time in Edin- 
burgh, and knowing some of the members of the 
R.S.A., he naturally did as most of them had done 
before him — began studying drawing at the Statue 
Gallery, and then going through the Life School of 
the Academy. He soon shewed that he was an artist 




4-f ]*•*** / 



MAJOR ALLAN WILSON. 
(Original Study by Mr. Allan Stewart for " The Last Stand 0/ Major Allan Wilson?) 



Brown's Book-Stall 



543 



of no mean ability, for during the four Sessions he 
attended at the latter he took most of the prizes 
which the Academy gave. Then came, perhaps, the 
most trying period of the artist's career — the years he 
spent in seeking recognition on the sacred walls of the 
annual Exhibition. For a year or two he was 
numbered among the Rejected, being either turned 
adrift altogether or hopelessly skied, a fate which, 
with his characteristic modesty, he confesses he thinks 
his pictures richly deserved. But Allan Stewart was 
too good an artist to remain long unrecognised. Fate 
finally smiled upon him, and after one or two efforts, 
he found his way to " the line," to which he has 
consistently clung from that day to this. 

Though Mr. Stewart is popularly identified as a 
painter of military subjects, he is too versatile an 
artist not to have tried his brush on other things. 
True, he began with battle pieces, such as " The 
Last Call" and "The Outposts," but ere long he 
turned his attention to landscapes with figures. Next 
he spent a season or two on the Moray Firth, painting 
fishing and sea-scenes, notably " The Crab-Catchers " 
and " North Sea Skippers." Then he went in for 
historical subjects on a pretty large scale, among 
these being his well known " Prince Charlie's last look 
at Scotland," and "An Incident of the Armada: Mull, 
1588," depicting a meeting of Spaniards and High- 
landers. To make studies for this picture, Mr. Stewart 
took a tour through Spain, where in the intervals 
of making character sketches of the people, he 
studied and made several copies of the work of 
Velasquez in Madrid. Then came " Queen Mary 
surrendering at Carberry Hill," and that thrilling bit 
of work " The Rally of the Scots Greys at Balaclava." 
This latter, in the painting of which he had the help 
of many old heroes, officers and men alike, who had 
come through the historical charge, brought him back 
once more to his first love, to whom he has remained 
more or less constant ever since. 

Following on, and doubtless on account of the 
success of these paintings came a special commission 
from the Fine Art Society already referred to, to 
paint what has now become an historical picture, 
" The Last Stand of Major Allan Wilson " — one of the 
studies for which (that of Major Wilson), we are 
particularly fortunate (thanks to the kindness of Mr. 
Stewart), in being able to reproduce in these pages. 
Of the latter it need here only be said that it conveys 
a very fair idea of the strength and vigour which 



characterises all Mr. Stewart's work, for one of the 
Articles of his Artistic Creed is Realism, by which, of 
course, I do not mean the realism of the photograph, 
and he has a sincere admiration for, and is a faithful 
follower of, strong, healthy, and sane methods in Art. 

"Tome," remarked Mr. Stewart, in referring to 
two of Wilson's party who were sent back to hurry 
up the main body about ten minutes before the Major 
was surrounded, and who had given much valuable 
assistance in supplying local colour for the picture, 
"there is, as you may suppose, a great deal of 
interest and of information to be derived from meet- 
ing the men who have actually done the deeds which 
make the world ring, for, apart from the help which 
they give from a pictorial point of view, they have 
many stories to tell— little side-lights on history to 
relate, which are far from being generally known, 
and you get many a hint quite accidentally. For 
instance, I heard of a curious coincidence, and, to me, a 
very pathetic incident, while painting this picture ; — 
the first man to go up country after the fight, and 
who found the bones of Wilson's party, was Dawson. 
He and Wilson had been boys together at school in 
far-away Banffshire — Scotchmen, as ever, always in 
the van." 

It was while busy with some African military 
subjects that Mr. Stewart received a commission, 
also from the Fine Art Society, to paint what, up to 
the present, must be regarded as his magnum opus, 
"The Charge of the Gordon Highlanders at Dargai," 
though his " Lancers at Omdurman," on which he is 
now engaged, is full of the highest promise. In 
painting the Dargai picture, the original of which is, 
by the way, ten feet long, Mr. Stewart had the 
assistance of Colonel Dick Cunyngham and officers of 
the 2nd Battalion, as well as of letters from officers at 
at the front. 

"And here," remarked Mr Stewart, ever ready to 
render to Caesar the things which are Caesar's, " I 
may say in passing that I never find anyone so ready 
to help as military officers, and no better models than 
soldiers." Black and White, which, by the way, had 
previously offered Mr. Stewart the post of war artist 
and correspondent, an honour which, owing to pressure 
of other work, he was, very reluctantly, compelled to 
decline, and genial, courteous, kindly Mr. W. L. 
Thomas, R.I., of the Graphic, also gave him all the 
help they could in the way of photographs and sketches 
from their own artists at the front. 



UA 



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Largest Stock of Funeral Requisites in the North 

of Scotland. 

Telegrams — "Cay, Aberdeen." 



Compilers and Publishers of 

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An Annual Obituary of Aberdeen and Vicinity, 

with Biographical Notes and Portraits of 

Prominent Citizens. 

" Full of local interest." — Aberdeen Journal. 

Pri (Crown 8vo), SIXPENC 

Back Volumes, NINEPENCE. 



Established 1830. 

W. & J. Walker, 

Umbrella 
manufaetafferts, 

98 Union Street, 
&ber&eem 



Brown^s Book-Stall. 



345 



Of the picture itself little need be said. It is a 
great work, worthy of its great subject. The events 
leading up to the now historical charge are of too 
recent occurrence to require anything but the briefest 
recapitulation here — how a second taking of the 
Dargai heights during the '97 campaign on the Indian 
frontier became necessary ; how an upward slope, one 
hundred and fifty yards or so in length, leading from 
various converging nullahs to the base of the heights, 
was exposed to the direct fire of the enemy from three 
different points — the ranges having also been marked 
down ; how the Goorkhas, Dorsets, and Derbys had 
in vain attempted to cross this fire-swept zone and 
gain the heights above ; and how, finally, the Gordons 
(assisted by Piper Findlater) piped their way to glory 
and renown. 

The moment selected by Mr. Stewart for his picture 
is when the first company of the Gordons is reaching 
the farther side. Colonel Mathias is already there, 
and the Goorkhas, in shelter, are seen cheering the 
men on. The other companies are following, the 
rear being a mixed crowd of Gordons, Derbys 
Dorsets, and Sikhs — a bugler of one of the regiments 
being seen on the left flank, on the front of which is 
Captain Miller Wallnut. In the centre of the 
picture is Major Macbean, wounded, and trying to 
raise himself, and nearer the front is Piper Findlater, 
still raising the inspiring strains of the " Cock o' the 
North." The ground is strewn with the dead from 
the Goorkhas, Derbys, and Dorsets, principal amongst 
them being the gallant Captain Smith, of the Derbys. 
The uniforms of the last-named regiments being 
similar, there is some difficulty in distinguishing them. 

The picture, I may mention, has been very highly 
commended by Lieutenant-Colonel Forbes MacBean, 
who was the first man to jump into the open, and who 
is depicted lying in the foreground. lie considered 
it very accurate and true in its local colour. A photo- 
gravure has just been issued, and may be seen at 
Brown's Book-Stall, 83 Union Street. Impressions 
are to be had at the following rates — Signed Artist's 
proofs, ,£5 5s. ; India prints, £2 2s. ; and Ordinary 
prints, ,£1 is. 

At the time of my visit Mr. Stewart was just 
completing a striking picture of an incident of the 
Matabele Rebellion of two years ago, when several 
mining engineers and their wives, were hemmed up in 
a mine twenty-five miles from Salisbury — the natives 
being busy killing all the outlying settlers. A party 
of troopers fought their way out to them, dismounted 



six of their men and, putting the horses into a wagon 
with the women inside, fought their way out again, 
losing several of their party and fighting all the way 
in a blazing sun. 

So far as general art training goes, Mr. Stewart 
might almost be called a self-taught man. He has 
never studied abroad in ateliers, but has made at his 
ain fireside a careful study of the work of all the best 
artists, both English and foreign, and this he considers 
as perhaps the best teaching one can get. Another 
method of self-education followed by Mr. Stewart has 
been to go through several Paris studios to study 
their methods of work. To his last visit to the French 
capital a melancholy interest is attached, for on thaL 
occasion he called on and spent several hours with 
Muncaksy, then on work at his last picture which we 
have just had an opportunity of seeing in Aberdeen. 
Of this meeting Mr. Stewart was good enough to 
furnish me with some most interesting reminiscences. 

" I called on him at his immense house in the 
Avenue de Villiers" began Mr. Stewart, "and was 
received by him most cordially. Having viewed the 
various rooms in the building, we adjourned to his 
studio, where I particularly noticed two remarkably 
fine portraits of ladies — one, a half-length of his wife, 
the other a full-length of an American lady, in the 
latter of which he had introduced with marvellous 
effect some roses in the background. In his large 
studio at the top of the house was the famous Ecce 
Homo, on which he was then at work. It struck me, 
however, as a tremendous falling away from his 
previous work. Close by were two finished studies 
for it — one almost six feet and the other larger, while 
round the walls were hung some very striking and 
powerful studies for several of the figures in ' Christ 
at Calvary ' and ' Christ before Pilate.' 

"Well, we sat in a sort of 'cosy corner' with a 
canopy over us. Madame Muncaksy afterwards told 
me that he would sit there for hours, day after day, 
looking at his picture and thinking it out. She acted 
as interpreter, and the three of us sat talking for a 
long time, he telling me what he proposed doing to 
the picture, and asking about Scotch painters. He 
mentioned that he admired the work he had seen 
which came from Scotland very much, and wanted to 
know as to how he could arrange for his picture being 
exhibited in the English and Scottish Academies, as 
he thought of sending it to both. Indeed, his interest 
in Scotland and its painters was very great, and he 
gave me a most pressing invitation to return to Paris 




"QUEEN MARY FORCED TO ABDICATE." 
(From a drawing by Mr A //an Stewart by permission of Messrs. T. Nelson &> Sons.) 



Brown's Book-Stall. 



347 



and spend some time with him the following year. I 
did not manage to go, however, at the time arranged, 
and before the year was out he was hopelessly insane. 

" I remember," continued Mr. Stewart, " he 
followed me to the top of the staircase as I left, and 
as he went back I heard him give a great sigh. 
Madame explained that her husband was very tired, 
for he could neither rest nor sleep. Ere I went, 
she shewed me, in the smaller studio, some open air 
studies of woodlands in sunshine which he had just 
made at his country chateau, where he had been to 
try and win back his health. They were strong, but 
black and forced in colour. His whole work, how- 
ever, had a brown tone, tending to black, with the 
exception of these portraits, which were full of 
delicate greys and luminous colour." 
1 As a black and white artist, Mr. Stewart confesses 
that his work has been rather desultory, his time 
being mainly taken up with painting. Such drawings 
as he has done have mostly appeared in Black and 
White, while he has also contributed a number of 
illustrations, mainly of an historical nature, to several 
of the excellent " Crown Readers " and " St. George " 
History Series published by Messrs. T. Nelson & 
Sons. To the courtesy of this firm I am indebted for 
permission to reproduce the illustration, " Queen 
Mary forced to abdicate," which accompanies this 
issue. 

So much for Mr. Stewart's work and recollections. 
Personally he is a quiet, unaffected, manly gentleman, 
without fads or fancies, and belonging to no "School" 
or *' Brotherhood" in Art, but content to go on his 
way trusting to genuine hard work and study (aided, 
it may be added, by no small amount of genius), to 
pull him through somehow, without such adventitious 
aid as may be derived from being known as an 
" Impressionist," a " Pre-Raphaelite," a " Glasgow 
School " man, or anything else, save as a painter who 
loves to perpetuate the gallant deeds of Tommy 
Atkins during those stirring times, 



"When pipes blow shrill along the hill, 
And war drums beat again." 



J.G.K. 



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The Glasgow Herald says : — Mr. Dowman is to 

be commended for the modesty of his title, which 
makes no fasle promises, but exactly fits the character 
and quality of the book. He has considerable facility 
in rhyme. His themes are many and mostly of a 
popular kind. Some of his songs are very acceptable, 
such as " Coortin' in the Kailyaird," which is a gem 
of its kind, and might, if set to good music, become 
famous. 

The Academy says : — Has a certain directness 
and melody. There are verses, too, from which you 
may draw your fill of the little ironies of our common 
human destiny. 

The Dundee Advertiser says : — Many of the 
pieces are bright, inspiring, and musical. 

The Evening Citizen says : — They are distinctly 
superior productions. The love poems especially are 
melodious and tender in tone. 

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of the poems are characterised by easy and faultless 
rhyme. Mr. Dowman is fairly entitled to rank among 
the best of our minor poets. 

The Brechin Advertiser says : — A selection of 
verse, much of it characterised by outspoken manliness 
of tone. 

The Weekly News says : — There will be found 
among the sixty fine effusions, or thereby, sufficient 
poetic merit to place the author well up in the lists of 
balladists. 

The Free Press says : — Mr. Dowman's muse 
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Aberdeen ; A. BROWN & CO, 



343 



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MEMORIES: 

MINISTERIAL AND MUNICIPAL. 




CUSTOM used to 
prevail in the 
Churches when 
any one was ill and 
requested the pray- 
ers of the con- 
gregation, that the 
precentor read the 
intimation before 
the concluding 
prayer. In a sub- 
urban church the announcement was made 
" that the prayers of this congregation are 
requested on behalf of Robert Smith, in 
great distress." The good man invoked the 
Divine Blessing with much unction and 
earnestness, all unconscious that he was pray- 
ing for himself. The clergyman on account 
of some illness in his family had manifested 
such dread and fear, that a wag took this 
mode of rebuking his spiritual teacher, 
causing much talk and no little amusement 
in the parish. Upwards of fifty years ago, in 
St. David's Church, Dundee, the announce- 
ment made by the precentor that " A young 
man entering business earnestly desires the 
prayers of the congregation," was regarded 
as a novel and cheap mode of advertising 
himself. In our own city the operatives were 
not forgotten by the late Rev. Hugh Hart, 
who often used the petition, " God bless the 



working classes, 



adequate 



and give them 
remuneration for their labour." 

Clergymen have sometimes curious and 
unexpected questions to answer. One visited 
an old man in humble life, who was evidently 
nearing the end. The minister spoke to 
him appropriately in the circumstances, but 
the patient, who had evidently been thinking 
out the question of eternal punishment, 
looking up with a keen glance at his visitor 
said, "Do you believe that if a man is sent 
to hell he will burn for ever and ever ? " The 
minister nodded assent- -but the old man 
with a fierce and defiant voice said, " I dinna 
believe onything o' the kind, for there's nae 
constiteeshun in Aiberdeen cud stan' that." 
I presume the subject was not continued 
as a topic of conversation or discussion. 

Hearers have also curious experiences. 
I remember attending service in an 
Episcopal Chapel, when the minister, after 
he had for two or three minutes pro- 
ceeded with his sermon, turned over more 
than one leaf of his manuscript. He 
stopped, turning it over again and again, 
looking very bewildered and confused, and 
hastily repeating the words, "In the name of 
the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost," he dis- 
appeared from the pulpit with a speed which 
surprised his audience, who however were 
evidently not at all disappointed at being so 
early relieved from the position to which they 
were subjected as listeners. One can appre- 
ciate the humour of the flock who sent 
their pastor abroad for a holiday. A gentle- 
man who saw him on the Continent, bright 



35° 



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A Large Stock of New Novels and General 
Literature always on hand. 

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Brown's Book-Stall. 



35i 



and lively, on his return said to one of 
the members of Session that their minister 
looked well, and did not seem to require a 
rest. " Na, na," said the elder, with a merry 
twinkle in his eye, " but the congregation 
were sair needin' ane." Forty years ago the 
minister of the North Parish Church being a 
Governor of Gordon's Hospital, opposed a 
proposal for the boys being taught to swim, 
and gave as his chief reason that there was a 
probability that some of them might be 
drowned. "On the same principle,'' replied 
the clever and cynical Dean of Guild Both- 
well, "you ought to object to the boys being 
taught writing as some of them might commit 
forgery." I heard this clergyman announce 
one day from the pulpit " that he would be 
visiting that week in Love Lane,' adding with 
emphasis, " of course you all know Love 
Lane." He did not intend to perpetrate a 
joke, but from the smiles and expressive 
looks of many of the younger persons of 
both sexes, they indicated that they knew 
and appreciated that locality in a sense 
different from the minister's intimation. It 
is said of this worthy that the sudden death 
of one of the members of his congregation 
so impressed him, that he spoke of the un- 
certainty of life, saying, that the person to 
whom he referred, " went to bed quite well 
and rose next morning a corpse." At a 
Communion, in referring to the defects in the 
Christian character of many of his members, 
which he very much deplored, he rounded off 
his regret by affirming "that he was glad to 
say they were no worse than others." 

A West-End church, with its stained glass 
windows, organ, and other ecclesiastical 
ornamentation, was visited by many of 
the members a day. or two previous 
to the formal opening. One of the female 
members on being shown round was greatly 
astonished and pleased, but coming to a 
marble baptismal font, immediately in front of 
the choir seats, she stood, looked astonished, 
and holding up her hands, said, " Here, 
change carriages for Rome." The anti- 
ritualistic feeling was roused, but with some 
explanations, however, it soon passed away. 

In one of the Parishes of Strathbogie, at 
a Thanksgiving Communion Dinner, the 



minister, an enthusiast in agriculture, invited 
the elders to have a look at the extraordinary 
crop he had raised of Swedish turnips, which 
was the admiration and talk of the whole 
district. The cultivation of this esculent root 
was only in its infancy in the North at the time. 
After describing very minutely, and with 
great interest, the ploughing and preparation 
of the soil, the different kinds of manure and 
quantities used, the dates of sowing, braird- 
ing, and hoeing, he turned to one of his elders 
famous for his manufacture of agricultural 
implements, remarking, " The whole company 
except yourself, are joining in the conversa- 
tion, I would like to know what you are 
thinking ? " "A weel, Sir, I was jist thinkin' 
what a pity it wis you're congregation were'na 
a' neeps." A quiet and effective rebuke, the 
elder thinking he gave his neeps more 
attention than his people. 

At public meetings there is often much 
amusement caused by the speaker's defects, 
and frequently by the appearance of some 
one who unconsciously plays the clown. I 
was at a meeting where an orator was going 
on with great impetuosity and commenting 
on the wonderful speaking power of George 
Thompson, the champion of emancipation 
for the slave. " Yes," he said, " I can tell 
you my friends, when I heard him I was 
almost carried off my feet, and every sinnen 
in my body thirled." The effect of this was 
somewhat different from what the speaker 
expected. At a Municipal Ward Meeting 
in the Old Grammar School, a candidate 
addressed the meeting. He was tail 
and smart looking, and free from the 
Aberdeen accent, having been abroad for 
some time. As he went on he was listened 
to with great attention, but when referring to 
the affairs of the town, he proclaimed with 
great emphasis, "that they were in a 
state of chaw-oss." The laughter which 
immediately followed, expressed the apprecia- 
tion of the mis-pronunciation. I remember 
the smile which played over the features 
of an audience at a public lecture, when 
the chairman, rather pompously intimated 
that " the next lecture of the course would 
be a Towr in Italy." It is curious how 
some public speakers persist in pronouncing 



is* 



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Brown's Book-Stall. 



353 



the word Cafe as Caif or Calf. When public 
men make such blunders one is not surprised 
at the expression of the woman, who felt 
that there was " far too much red tapestrie " 
about Public Libraries in their regulations 
for the exchange of books. One is rather 
amazed at the Dundee Magistrate who 
announced to his colleagues "that they would 
excuse him as he was about to evacuate the 
chair." It is amusing to find a member of 
a School Board referring to the Education 
Cod, and repeating it so frequently as to make 
his hearers suppose it had something to do 
with trawling or the fishing industry. 

Some speakers have a habit of hesitating 
in their delivery which sometimes results in 
unforeseen consequences. In proposing a 
candidate for municipal honours, the proposer 
went over the aspirant's qualifications and 
fitness for the office, and was concluding 
with the sentence, " He is a gentleman," and 
hesitating at the word, a voice from the 
gallery at once loudly and wittily said, 
" Second to none," which was greatly 
appreciated by the audience. At a similar 
meeting a candidate for the Town Council, 
who had no gift of public speaking, took the 
precaution to write out his notes so as to use 
them if necessary. He was one of the late 
Lord Provost Esslemont's supporters and 
nominees, and he along with other friends 
occupied the platform. At the fitting time 
the candidate spoke, thanking his proposer 
and seconder, he said — " Gentlemen, I have 
been asked by a large number of the electors 

of this ward Gentlemen," he began again, 

" I have been asked by a large number of the 

electors of this ward " — putting his 

hand in his pocket he pulled out the 
manuscript and nervously unfolding it said — 
" Gentlemen, I have been requested by a 
large number of the electors of this ward " 
(a pause), in the silence of which an elector 
bawled out, " Man ye canna read Peter's 
writin', gie't to himseP there, and he'll read 
it for ye." At this sally the audience laughed 
and cheered, and the candidate looked 
miserable. The provost smiled benignly, 
rather enjoying the humour of the situation. 

The remarks from the audience to the 



speaker are sometimes good humoured, at 
other times impertinent. When J. Farley 
Leith was candidate for Parliament, he 
addressed a meeting in the Mechanics' Hall, 
after which questions were put. One of the 
questioners not satisfied with the answer he 
got, repeated it. Mr. Leith said he did not 
understand it, when the querist went forward 
to the front of the platform, shaking his fist 
and shouting with considerable vehemence, 
" It is as plain, Sir, as the nose on your face." 
As Mr. Leith had a very prominent nose, the 
audience resented the rude remark, while 
Mr. Leith felt it to be vulgarly personal, and 
said so. The man who put the question 
however did not lack intelligence or humour, 
for after leaving the city he got an engage- 
ment in a public work in Glasgow as a 
gatekeeper. Writing to a friend, informing 
him of his new situation, he stated "that he 
was now the first man in the works." 

Councillor Philip of Aberdeen at a public 
political dinner to Sir Andrew Leith Hay at 
Inverurie, in 184 1, gave a quaint illustration 
of the unity of the Tory members of the 
Aberdeen Town Council, eulogising them for 
the manner in which they stuck together. 
Holding up a pewter porter-pot in the face of 
the chairman, he said, " If ony of the big 
folks among the Tories wis to say that this 
pewter-pot wis a steamboat, the lave o' them 
wid sweer they saw the wheels gaun roon'." 
This councillor was a character, and when 
elected a member of the Horticultural 
Society, he expressed his astonishment, for 
he said "he didnaken a dahlia fae a docken." 
The dry humour of the economic Scot is 
well illustrated by the Edinburgh man, who 
was showing his Transatlantic friend the 
beauties of the capital, and having done so, 
asked what he would have to drink. "Thanks, 
I guess," replied the American, " I will take 
champagne " His friend, looking him hard 
in the face, replied, " Guess again, ye beggar, 
and guess beer." 

These varied incidents recall persons, 
associations, and circumstances, the memory 
of which makes the dead past a living 
present, with all the enjoyment of a repeated 
pleasure. 

A. S. C. 



354 



Brown's Book-Stall. 



3j 



\^ 



& 




THE GOLFER AND THE BRICKLAYER. 

A BALLAD. 



IM JOLLY was sound in both body and mind, 

But his friends have their doubts if he still is 
Some subtile infection 'tis perfectly plain 
^Zft/ Has scattered the germs in his blood or his brain 
Of the Golfi-gum-gutty Bacillus. 

Jim J. is a townsman of credit and weight, 

Quite a model of sensible bearing, 
But now when he's mentioned there's noddings and winks 
Since this direful zymotic he caught on the links, 

And is bent on the red jacket wearing. 




One Saturday morning, quite innocentlie, 

Jim went down to see what the game was, 
He saw a white ball on the tip of a " tee," 
Then a swing and a swish and afar o'er the lea 
Like the flight of a swallow the same was. 

Away over bent and away over sand, 

Over hazard and whinbush and bunker, 
Jim followed that ball over acres of land 
As it skimmed, skipped, or soared from a lofting shot grand, 

And he reckoned the game was a clinker. 



Then Encyclopedias of sport having got, 

And a " Badminton " sought for to borrow, 
He longed for the morning to practise the shot, 
Resolving at daybreak to be on the spot, 

But it rained cats and dogs on the morrow. 

Of expense quite regardless he gathered the tools 

In a slender bag brand-new and brown, 
And the weather still raining he read up each rule, 
To proud he to go with a caddy to school, 
And he spoke golf all over the town. 




a£a 



He learnedly talked of his mashie and cleek, 

He knew all the points of a putter, 
Where the niblick was strong, where the driver was weak, 
And the best build and brand of a brassie to seek, 

And all technical terms he could utter. 

But day after day the barometer fell, 

And the weather got wetter and wetter, 

Till Jim wished the clerk of the weather in well ; 

He was dying to golf, could you honestly tell 
That your words had been wiser or better? 



Brown's Book-Stall. 



355 




But Jim J. must die of this fever or " swing," 

So he cleared out the chairs and the table, 
And into the parlour his driver did bring, 
And he tethered a ball to a bundle and string, 
And hit it as hard as he's able. 

When that curious game on the carpet was done, 

Of the holes made he rarely has spoken ; 
His first in the mirror he got with a " one," 
Then two in the window he had with a run, 
And a bust with this record was broken. 

Mistress Jolly thought golf such a beautiful game, 

No sport she was sure could be finer, 
But withering, sarcastic, she spoke all the same, 
When she said that if often to such " tees" he came, 
He would make some good holes in her china. 

Next morning at daybreak jim went to the green 

At the back, where his wife dries and bleaches, 
With the ball and the bundle all smiling serene, 
The rummiest golfer that ever was seen, 

In a smoking cap, braces, and breeches. 

Just over the way on a neighbouring feu 

A tenement mansion was rising, 
And up and down ladders there went one or two 
Of the workmen with bricks on their heads, quite a few, 

All balanced with skill most surprising. 

Jim studied his grip and he practised the swing, 

Oft foosled the ball, sometimes hit it, 
When the gutty would fly to the end of its string, 
And Jim with the air of a golfer would sing 

As he strode up the green for to get it. . 

Replaced on the tip of a conical tee, 

Jim touched his left ear with the whipping, 
Then swinging his driver right vigorouslie, 
Got the ball by a fluke just as clean as could be, 
Broke the string, and away it went skipping. 

Like a ball from the mouth of a musket it sped, 

As it passed on its path parabolic, 
But a blind hazard came in the shape of a head 
With bricks on the top, and with hair just as red, 
And a tongue with a speech diabolic. 

Like a hundred of bricks that dozen came down, 

Some language was mixed with the clatter, 
And that bricklayer's face wore a terrible frown, 
As he clenched up a ponderous fist hard and brown, 
While blandly Jim asked " What's the matter ? 

There were compliments passed which I will not repeat, 

In that conference over the wall, 
But a modus vivendi was found in a treat 
For the mason, consisting of whisky and meat, 

And for Jim — he recovered his ball. 

Deux 





356 



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mi) of mmsHKD, 

n^y) Being some notes on the 
Black and White Artists 
_pf to da>^ 

No. 20.-MR. JOHN MITCHELL. 




T was as pretty a paradox as 
need be, and might have 
been conceived by Mr. 
Gilbert or drawn from the 
pages of Vice Versa. There, 
opposite, was my erstwhile 
Dominie, and here was I 
who had "sat under" him 
in the old days, now entrusted 
with the powers of a sort of Grand Inquisitor, ready 
to sit upon him if need be. The tables were fairly 
turned, and, had the situation demanded it, how 
merrily might one have applied the thumb-screw ! 
But the " Old Master '' who sat beside me was neither 
the Complete Angler (now, alas ! across the bourne) 
nor our own Peri of Paradise, the gentleman who 
presided over that Fourth Heaven where dwelt 
the Angel of Tears, commonly known as " Para- 
dise," but which, had we not all been " Auld 
Lichters " then, might more appropriately have been 
named Purgatory. He was just our old Drawing 
Master whose all too brief visits to the class for an hour 
twice a week, during which he did his best to keep 
us " straight " so to speak, were probably the 
happiest hours we drawing enthusiasts ever spent 
within the walls of the Old School. And who among 
the Old Boys — they call them F.P.'s in these advanced 
times, and Charlie Davidson cracks them up in the 
School Magazine when they do anything desperate — 
is there who has anything but a friendly word for and 
a kindly recollection of John Mitchell, at once the 
least aggressive, most respected, and best loved teacher 
we ever had. There is something about him that 
always reminds me of Father O' Flynn, for the lines, 

" Kindliest preacher and tenderest teacher," 
seem peculiarly applicable to him who first taught our 
grimy hands to hold a pencil. 



But what recollections did that quiet, cheery smile 
recall ! I was a boy again at the Grammar, and 
memories of these bye-gone days came and went and 
changed as the Diorama of the Past unfolded itself. 
Once more I was seated on the hard bench in that 
long bare room, the walls of which, like those of some 
dungeon-keep (or Music Hall), stood out unrelieved 
by the smallest token of adornment save, as if to mock 
us in our sorrow, a Map of the Holy Land. Fitly 
enough we are spaced off from each other with 
mathematical precision, and now and then there steals 
through the air a faint, languorous perfume of prime 
Macuba, while oft-times the Dominie, seated on a 
raised pedestal like an Idol in a Temple, brings forth 
a " nepkin " that is now historical for its resemblance 
in hue to the cloak of a Toreador or the skirt of a 
Kaleidoscope dancer. One has but to recall these 
surroundings to picture some poor unfortunate,, 
mayhap oneself, for whom the fascination of a 
parallelogram or a rhomboid (as fashioned with a Pre- 
Raphaelite fidelity to Nature by some other unlucky 
wight who had suddenly found Fame thrust upon him 
by being called to the " board " and, Locksley-like, 
set to show his skill with a compass that might have 
been made in the Pleiocene period), had proved too 
much when coupled with the fact that he, the afore- 
said first unfortunate, had dined not wisely but too 
well off sundry of these bewitching "ice-cakes" 
which always loomed largely in the luncheon menu at 
the Grammar in the old days ; one has but to picture the 
old room, I say, to bring again to mind some such poor 
unfortunate thusly overcome, being suddenly roused 
into a semblance of vitality by the bitter irony of such 

words as " Weesht he's sleepin' noo !" Then, 

cheerily, " Weel, Robert Duthie, jist tak' ten for the 
morn " ; and then, first in a crooning falsetto rising 
into a terrible crescendo, " If ye canna tak' ten, ye can 



;s8 



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NOW READY. 



K*cap 4to, in Handsome Cover specially designed 
by Mr. William Smith. 
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in Art Linen, 2/6 Net ; Post Free, 2/9. 

AT THE SIGH Of THE 
BRUSH AflD PES: 

Being Notes on Some Black and White Artists 
of To-day. 

By J. G. REID. 



The Volume contains Articles on and Interviews with the 
following Artists : — 



Sik GEORGE REID, /'.R.S.A. 

A. S. BOYD, R.S.W. 

A. CHASEMORE. 

FRANK CRAIG. 

T. E. DONNISON. 

A. S. HARTRICK. 



FRED. T. JANE. 
HARRY PAYNE. 
W. RALSTON. 
WALTER SICKERT. 
E. J. SULLIVAN. 
W. F. THOMAS. 



The Articles are very Fully Illustrated with Portraits of the 
Artists and Specimens of their Work — most of the Drawings 
having been specially executed for publication in the Volume. 



A. BROWN 6L CO., 

ABERDEEN. 

A lady in St. Petersburg had read a copy of the 
Book-Stall containing the article, "Some U.P.'s in 
the Fifties," and the writer received an acknowledg- 
ment with thanks for the references made to her 
father. The other day I received by post a booklet, 
•• Vanya, a tale of Siberia,'' by Olga Orloff, translated 
into English by the lady's daughter, and artistically 
illustrated by her son. It is a thrilling story, with the 
sad and bitter experiences of vagabond and convict 
life in Russia, lit up by gleams of goodness shining 
through the dark and alien lives of the pariahs and 
victims of the cruel and unnatural social conditions 
of that country. The translation indicates that the 
literary talent so conspicuous in the Browns of Edin- 
bur^h and I laddington is still in evidence. It deserves 
a wide circulation, and copies may be had at Brown's 
Bookstall. The translator and illustrator are grand- 
children of the late Rev. J. C. Brown, LL.D., of 
Belmont Street United Presbyterian Church. 



NOW READY. 



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OF SLEEPY HOLLOW. 

By Washington Irving. 



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has been published at so low a price. 



NOW READY. 



ROBERT BURNS: 

SCOTLAND'S MAN. 

A Lecture delivered by Mr. James Leatham, 
Editor, Peterhead Sentinel, to the Boddam Literal y Society. 



12 quarto pages, 24 columns, with cover. 



ONE PENNY. 



To the series of popular penny reprints already issued from the 
office of the Peterhead Sentinel, there has just been added " The 
Legend of Sleepy Hollow," by Washington Irving, and a lecture 
on "Robert Burns : Scotland's Man," delivered by Mr. Leatham, 
the editor of the Sentinel, to the Boddam Mutual Improvement 
Society. Many will welcome the charming Legend in a handy 
and popular form, while Mr. Leatham's racy, pungent, and 
enthusiastic appreciation of Burns will well repay perusal, even 
if one may not agree with all the sentiments expressed by the 
author. — Aberdeen Jorirnal. 



NOW READY. 

Second Edition of 

THE FARMER'S INGLE 

AND OTHER POEMS. 

By Robert Fergusson. 



24 Pages, with Cover. 



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Edinburgh, 



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... A. Brown & Co. 

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359 



tak' twenty, and if ye canna tak' twenty, ye can tak' 
thirty, and if ye canna tak' thirty, ye can tak' forty — 
and if ye canna tak' forty, ye can tak' the door ! " 
The back seats faintly applaud this oratorical effort, 
applause which, however, is instantly suppressed, after 
which The Master snuffs vigorously and lapses into 
the nearest approach to a smile in which he ever 
indulges. 

But what a contrast is presented by a glimpse of the 
mathematical hour at the Old School — beginning, as we 
troop in in one long unending string, with a continual 
growl of " Shut the door, I tell you ; Can't you shut the 
door" ; punctuated throughout with a constant demand 
"Sit awa', Alexander Sim, sit awa' " ; and ending 
with a homily directed to a' those that are nae very 
able to hear, and a' those that are nae very 
willin' to hear, requesting them to " come doon 
to the front seat " — what a difference does this 
hour present to the sixty minutes we spent under 
John Mitchell. How we toiled to get the lines in 
Vere Foster to bear some faint resemblance to the 
copy, and how dismally we failed — only to renew 
again and again our efforts, and ply our india-rubber 
with redoubled zeal as the teacher in turn patted us 
on the head in kindly encouragement, and, at our 
urgent request, turned an awkward corner for us. So 
frequent did the pattings on the head and the plying 
of the india-rubber become in the Strange Case of 
Johnnie Gillanders, who has now forsaken the pencil 
for the scalpel, that not only did the drawing fade 
into insignificance, but the pages of the Drawing Book 
could stand Johnnie's vigorous pounding no longer 
and a gaping hole that might have swallowed Curtius 
and his horse bore practical witness to Johnnie's 
vigour, if little to his artistic skill. But these memories 
are at best only digressions — filling space that ought 
to be occupied by more interesting matter. 



Mr. John Mitchell is in every respect one of our- 
selves, and both as a private individual and as an artist 
he occupies a high and a well earned place in the 
estimation of the people of his native town. It is 
just on sixty years now since he first attracted public 
attention by appealing in the most forcible way he 
could command to the limited circle of his own house- 
hold. He does not, naturally enough, recollect the 
circumstance himself, but we have the best authority 
for saying that he was born on the braes of the Don, 
not far from Woodside, on the 20th of May, 1838. 



It would have been somewhat remarkable had he not 
shewn an inclination for the brush, for he came of an 
artistic stock, and his early associations were all 
connected with Art. His father, James Mitchell of 
Peterhead, had a great taste for drawing and painting, 
and was for some time a pupil of James Giles, R.S.A. 
Many of his portraits, several excellent examples 
being now in his son's possession, show an artistic 
power of a very high order. But he was not destined 
to guide his boy's hand in his first efforts to follow out 
an Art career, for he died while John was only three 
years of age. Of him Mr. Mitchell has, of course, no 
recollection. His uncle was also a portrait painter of 
rare ability and power, and it is to him that Mr. 
Mitchell is indebted for a start in his career. He 
placed him with Mr. P. C. Auld, an excellent artist 
and teacher, and under the careful training of the 
latter the young student received a thorough grinding 
in the elementary rudiments of the profession he had 
from the first determined to follow. His uncle super- 
vised the work done, and doubtless it is to the many 
valuable hints the youngster received from the famous 
portrait painter that much of his subsequent success in 
this branch of his work is due. But it was not only 
the family connection that may be said to have 
influenced and helped him, for from the first he was 
much in the company of artists and those interested 
in Art. While a little boy of eight years or so of age 
he was frequently employed as a model by his uncle 
and others, and the delightful and characteristic little 
sketch of Mr. Mitchell as he then was, which we are 
specially honoured in being able to reproduce with 
this issue, is the result of one of these sittings to the 
former. He also often sat for, perhaps, the most 
famous of all the painters Aberdeen has produced, 
Mr. John Phillip, R.A. , who about this time had just 
exhibited his first Academy picture. Of Phillip Mr. 
Mitchell has many most interesting recollections. 

" It was delightful," he remarked in answer to my 
enquiry as to the method of work of the great man, 
" to watch him at work, for he appeared to be so 
thoroughly at his ease, never moving away from his 
easel till his work was completed ; not a bit like some 
others I have seen," added Mr. Mitchell, with a 
twinkle (for he loves his joke), " who jump backwards 
at every touch — either to admire the result of their 
handiwork or, very possibly, because they are afraid 
of what they have done ! " 

" I often went out with Phillip," he continued, 
" when he went to sketch. When a Cattle Show or 




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361 



any similar gathering took place on the Links, we 
used to go down there, and Phillip would do draw- 
ings of members of the itinerant fraternity as they 
foregathered in groups round their camp-fires, over 
which hung their stewing pots suspended from three 
poles in true gipsy fashion. I could not help marvel- 
ling at the way he could work, quite oblivious of the 
crowd which his operations naturally attracted — no 
matter how rowdy the mob might be, Phillip seemed 
quite contented and comfortable." 

The battle of life was begun in earnest when Mr. 
Mitchell entered the office of Messrs. Keith & Gibb, 
that well-known firm who have have had so many 
brilliant artists through their hands. There he served 
an apprenticeship of eight years' duration, contempor- 
ary with that of Sir George Reid, and during which 
he spent his evenings in hard study at the Mechanics' 
Institution. Nor did he neglect his general education, 
for he also attended classes for the purpose of adding 
to the somewhat meagre store of knowledge which he 
had been able to pick up during a very brief period at 
school. On the conclusion of his apprenticeship, he 
served for two or three years as a journeyman, but, 
longing for more time to study, he left the lithographic 
business, supporting himself and those dependent on 
him — for he was the only bread-winner — by teaching, 
and then when the day's labours were over, working 
every moment he could snatch in order the further to 
perfect himself in his well-loved art. It was in those 
days that I knew him, at the Grammar School, but he 
gave no outward sign of the up-hill battle he was 
fighting, for a happier, cheerier gentleman one could 
not wish to meet. He never bullied — never punished 
— yet there were no more orderly classes in the school 
than those under his charge. He had learned the 
grand secret of how to win his pupils' confidence, and 
no greater tribute could be paid to him as a teacher 
than to say — what is undoubtedly a fact — that no 
punishment Mr. Mitchell could have meted out to a 
recalcitrant boy would have been half so severe as 
that which would have been inflicted by the disap- 
proval of his class-fellows. 

In time, by dint of hard work and strict economy, 
he saved sufficient to enable him to give up for a time 
the profession of teacher, and go to London for a 
couple of years, happy in the knowledge that his 
charges at home were provided for. There he studied 
under Professor Legros, where his career was as 
triumphant as it had been during those earlier days at 
the Mechanics' Institute. The Professor's method of 



teaching was no doubt excellent, but somewhat 
peculiar, for he had never learned the English 
language, and his comments on the students' work 
were limited to such expressions as " R-right ! " and 
" R-rong ! " However, he had many excellent subor- 
dinates, though perhaps the steady work and the spirit 
of emulation engendered among the students did more 
real benefit than any teaching, however excellent, 
could have done. Working hard and earnestly, Mr. 
Mitchell during his two years succeeded in taking two 




Mr. Mitchell at Eight Years of Ace. 

From a drawing by his uncle. 

of the certificates, and was well within reach of the 
third and highest (for painting from life) when the 
eternal want of pence intervened, and he was unable 
to extend further his period of study. 

Returning northwards, he started painting in the 
vicinity of Aberdeen, with many of the more attractive 
scenes of which his dainty and exquisite water-colours 
have made us familiar. Then he turned his attention 
to the Highlands of Deeside, where much of his best 
work has been clone — work which has won for him a 
very high place among contemporary water-colourists, 



3 6: 



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Established 1830. 

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and is highly prized not only by local but by other 
collectors. While engaged in perpetuating in paint his 
well-loved Highlands, his paintings were, now some 
eight years ago, brought under the notice of no less 
august a person than Her Majesty the Queen. The 
Lady of Balmoral is no mean art critic, and she was 
naturally impressed with the excellence of Mr. 
Mitchell's work, while its subject matter appealed 
strongly to her. The result of all which was that 
from that day to this he has been under her patronage, 
painting many pictures by special command, while 
others have been selected by her from those he had in 
hand. 




Mr. John Mitchell. 

In addition to this Royal work, Mr. Mitchell has 
had the privilege of giving lessons in painting 
to several members of the Royal Family, and of 
these days spent in the Royal presence he has the 
happiest recollections, for he has always found both 
the Queen and her family most kind and considerate. 
The Queen also honoured Mr. Mitchell by a gracious 
message asking him to sign her birth day -book at 
Balmoral. 

Nor is Mr. Mitchell less famous as a black and 
white man, a charming example of his work in this 
direction (specially drawn for the Book-Stall), being 
given on another page. But Mr. Mitchell's black and 
white work, and his readiness to place his talents at the 



disposal of any charitable scheme, are both too well 
known locally to require comment here. To that 
remarkably fine art-volume "The Book of the Crathie 
Bazaar," he contributed many delightful drawings, 
while hardly a Bazaar Book is now issued which does 
not contain at least one sample of his work. In a 
good cause Mr. Mitchell is ever ready to help, and 
he gives of his genius both liberally and readily. 

But the Study of the Brush is not the only Fine Art 
in which Mr. Mitchell excells, for he has not wooed 
Euterpe in vain. Music and Painting were both born 
in him, and his love for the former is almost equal to 
his devotion to the latter. Both as a change of work 
and a recreation he has found the study and practice 
of music most helpful and beneficial. In his apprentice 
days he was a member of the Harmonic Choir under 
the able leadership of Mr. William Carnie, and had 
the pleasure of singing alto beside Mr. David Taylor. 
These evenings were a great joy to look forward to, 
and both Mr. Carnie and Mr. Taylor have been last- 
ing friends of Mr. Mitchell's. For over ten years 
he went to Lonmay as organist to the late Sir 
Alexander and Lady Arabella Bannerman. for whom 
he played in their beautiful Chapel near Crimonmogate. 
During that time he painted several pictures for them, 
including an interior of the Chapel and many sketches 
in and around Crimonmogate. Then when Mr Baker, 
R.A. , was organist of St. Andrews Church, Mr. 
Mitchell was often asked to take duty for him there, 
and he has also officiated in a similar capacity in 
most of the Episcopal Churches in the city. At Cluny 
Castle he had the honour of playing on the occasion 
of the opening of the lovely Chapel, and of paint- 
ing the interior of the Chapel for Mr. Gordon, while 
he has also performed at Crathie Church and the 
Episcopal Church of Muchalls on his oft repeated 
visits for the study of that beautiful coast. Many 
of the works done by him in this neighbourhood are 
now in the Queen's possession. On one occasion the 
local Artists' Society had an organ in their Exhibition, 
and Mr. Mitchell was asked to play occasionally in 
turn with other organists. As he concluded his 
performance one evening and was coming down from 
the instrument he met Mr. James Walker, the well- 
known author of "Just Intonation." The latter at 
once came forward and complimented Mr. Mitchell 
very highly on his style of playing, with which strik- 
ing testimony to Mr. Mitchell's musical abilities let 
me conclude these notes on one of the many sons of 
our city of which she is so justly proud. J. G. R. 



364 



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FOR, LO, THE WINTER IS PAST, 



HE time of the singing- of 
birds is come, and the 
voice of the turtle is heard 
in the land. Such being 
the case it behoves every- 
one to prepare for the 
coming holidays and week 
ends. The first step to be 
taken is to call and see 
Brown of the Book-Stall about the purchase of 
a travelling bag. He keeps, as you are aware, 
a good stock of them ; and the man in the street 
will tell you the value is good. 

The Gladstone and Week-end Bag he is spec- 
ially strong in. But of Kit Bags and Brief Bags 
you will also find good variety. Some special 
lines in Dress Baskets and Overland Trunks are 
being offered which will beat anything in Aber- 
deen for price. 

Don't forget the Cycle Baskets. 

And when you are equipped with the above 
requisites for your journey, whether long or short, 
remember to take a pack of Brown's Noted 
Playing Cards with you. You recollect that 
some years ago, when Mr. Labouchere was 
snowed up in Devonshire for twenty-four hours 
or so, and no one in the carriage could furnish a 
pack of cards to while away the tedious hours, he 
registered a vow never again to travel without a 
pack. Verily a sensible vow. 



But it may so happen that when in the vagaries 
of our marvellous climate you are snowed up or 
have to wait an hour and a half at a wayside 
station for a connection, you may not have any 
companions with whom to use your pack of cards. 
Then is the time to fall back upon the book 
which, if you are a prudent man, you have prev- 
iously provided yourself out of the stores of good 
literature to be found at Brown's Book-Stall. 

We do not, of course, recommend you to buy 
for your library the sixpenny editions with which 
at present our counters are covered, but they 
come in very handy for railway journeys and wet 
days in the country. We shall be pleased to send 
you a list to choose from. 

There are, however, other cheap reprints nicely 
bound in cloth which would not be out of place 
on your library shelves. Amongst the recent 
ones which have been going well we might name 
"Kith and Kin" and "Probation," both by Jessie 
Fothergill. Also two by Ada Cambridge, " Not 
all in vain " and " The Three Miss Kings." The 
price is only 1/6 net per volume. 

Popularity is a strange thing. Some years ago 
we used to sell Miss Braddon's novels freely, 
more recentty Annie Swan held the field with 
quite a different style of literature. Now these 
two have taken a back seat while good old Mrs. 
Henry Wood keeps jumping off the shelves as 
lively if not livelier than ever. The recent issue 
of her novels at 1/6 made an extra demand for 
them. 



3 66 



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36; 




ABERDEEN WORTHIES. 

MR. GEORGE DEMPSAY. 
( Continued from March. ) 

R. DEMPSAY is 
the happy pos- 
sessor of a most 
retentive memory, 
and his recollec- 
tions of the 
" palmy " days of 
the drama, to 
those who are 
interested in such 
matters, while 
away many a 
pleasant hour spent in the company of the 
genial old man. Such an hour I recently 
passed with Mr. Dempsay, and in this instal- 
ment I shall try to reproduce his reminis- 
cences for the benefit of the readers of the 
Book-Stall. Mr. Dempsay's first connection 
with the Theatre Royal, in Marischal Street, 
dates away back to the days when Mrs. Ryder 
— afterwards Mrs. Pollock — was lessee of the 
" Old House." At that time a Mr. Langley 
was " leading " man, and a fine actor of the 
old school he must have been. Mr. Dempsay 
and his brother "Jim" — not "Tom," as 
erroneously given in my last sermonette — 
made their debut in 1837 as two of the 
schoolboys in a stage adaptation of Nicholas 
Nickleby. In the scene in which the school 
children were " on," copious quantities of 
treacle and sulphur were meted out to the 
charity boys. From the first, Mrs. Ryder 
seems to have taken a great fancy to the 
two Dempsays, for a little later on they 
appeared in a revival of Rob Roy as the sons 
of the " bold outlaw." Jim, who was two 
years the senior of George, as he grew up, 
developed a marvellously sweet tenor voice, 
which he cultivated and made much use of 
in dramas of the day. In an adaptation of 
Oliver Twist, for example, he was wont to 
sing a now all but forgotten song entitled 
"The Workhouse Boy." For the purposes 



of comparison, I may here quote this ditty, 
as I took it from the lips of Mr. Dempsay — 

THE WORKHOUSE BOY. 

The clock was laid in the workhouse hall, 

And the greatcoats hung on the whitewashed wall, 

The paupers they were all blithe and gay, 

Keeping their Christmas holiday ; 

When one by his looks he seemed to say — 

" I'll have no more soup on this Christmas day." 

Oh, the poor workhouse boy, 
Oh, the poor workhouse boy. 

When all of us to bed were sent, 

A boy went amissing ; in search we went, 

We sought him above, we sought him below, 

We sought him with faces of grief and woe, 

We sought him that hour, we sought him that night, 

We sought him with fear, we sought him with fright. 

Oh, the poor workhouse boy, etc. 

We sought in each corner, each crevice we knew, 
We sought down the yard, we sought up the flue, 
We sought in each saucepan, each kettle and pot, 
We looked in the water, but found him not. 
When one cries out — " I know that we shall 
Get jolly well whipped for losing our pal." 

Oh, the poor workhouse boy, etc. 

At length the soup coppers repairs did need, 

The coppersmith came and then he seed (!) 

A dollop of bones lay grizzling there, 

With the leg o' the breeches the boy did wear ; 

To gain his fill the boy did stoop, 

And, dreadful to tell, was boiled into soup ; 

And we all shall say, and say it with sneers, 

That the boy was pushed in by the overseers. 

Oh, the poor workhouse boy, etc. 

This story, or rather the singing of it by 
young Jim Dempsay proved an instantaneous 
success, indeed so great was the furore caused 
that, months after Oliver Twist was with- 
drawn from the boards of the " Royal," 
gentlemen who patronised the boxes in those 
days were wont to send round to the green- 
room and get the young fellow to come and 
sing it as an interlude between some of the 
acts of the play being performed. The effusion 
is, of course, manifestly a parody on "The 
Mistletoe Bough." " Nix my Dolly, pall, fake 
away" must have been contemporaneous with 
" The Workhouse Boy." 

The revival of Rob Roy I refer to had 
Mrs. Ryder in the part of Helen Macgregor, 
Peter Crone as the Bailie, and Langley as 



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3 6 9 



Rob, with poor Tom Ryder, presumably, as 
" that Dougal Craiter." Langley's master- 
piece was, however, Robert Maccaire, which 
he played to Tom Ryder's "Jacques Stroppe." 
After graduating with William Gourlay in 
his " Theatre of Arts " on The Mound, 
Edinburgh, George Dempsay came to Aber- 
deen, where he took up the onerous duties of 
call-boy to Mr. Barry Sullivan. Gourlay, it 
may be remembered, was a follower, but at a 
considerable distance ' behind, of the great 
Mackay, also an Edinburgh man, in the part 
of Bailie Nicol Jarvie. In the minds of older 
people, Mackay 's " Bailie " has never been 
excelled. I have an impression that I once 
saw Gourlay play the Bailie, but I do not 
recollect whether he was good, bad, or in- 
different. The Bailie of my time was Mr. 
James R. Gibson, our townsman, who 
died comparatively young, and whose 
more than ordinarily promising life as 
an actor was thus all too soon cut short. 
About the time I am now speaking of the 
theatre lesseeship changed hands, and Mr. 
William Russell, bookseller, the " Broad 
Street worthy " I have previously discoursed 
about, took it over for three seasons. This 
large-hearted and gentlemanly patron of the 
drama engaged Mr. Barry Sullivan as general 
manager during that period. George Demp- 
say's principal business was to look after 
Sullivan's dresses, and apropos of his con- 
nection with the great tragedian, Mr. Demp- 
say has a whole fund of anecdote. One or 
two of these old-time stories may fittingly 
find place here. As is well known, Mr. 
Sullivan's temper was not always of the 
sweetest character, but the outbursts did 
not last. One night Macbeth was billed 
with Sullivan in the title-role, and in 
presence of his call-boy he carefully laid out 
his dresses in the dressing-room, and, telling 
the lad to carefully watch him while he did 
so, asked him — " If I were to play this part 
again could you lay out the dresses in the 
same way ? " "I think so, sir," was the 
reply. " Thinking won't do for me, my boy, 
it must either be ' Aye ' or ' No.' " Dempsay 
looked at the dresses for a moment, and simply 
answered " Yes." A month after Macbeth 
was again played, and when Sullivan came 



into the dressing-room he cast a hurried but 
searching glance at its contents, and without 
preface remarked — "Do you remember my 
telling you to be particular about the laying 
out of my dresses, Dempsay?" "Yes, sir," 
was the prompt reply, " are they right ? " 
Another quick glance at the habiliments, and 
then with a smile — " Yes, my lad, they are, 
and, I see, you'll get on." 

On another occasion The Iron Chest was 
produced, with " Barry " as Sir Edward 
Mortimer. While the play was in progress 
Dempsay had to cross the stage in order to 
place some things there for his " chief." The 
lights were bad, and he was under the 
impression that there was a scene between 
him and the audience. Judge of his terror 
when a yell from the gallery proclaimed the 
fact that he was standing in the centre of the 
stage, and in view of the whole audience. 
Mr. Sullivan turned and glared at him like 
"a tiger ready to spring." Needless to 
say, the little* call-boy left the theatre 
early that night, and for several nights after 
he was careful to go long before the actor 
put in appearance and lay out the dresses. 
One night, however, he was cornered in the 
dressing-room, and Mr. Sullivan, with a deep 
frown on his face, began to question his 
absence. " Why did you run across the 
stage the other night ? " was hurled at the 
shaking lad's head. " Please sir, I wouldn't 
have done it on purpose. The lights were 
bad, sir, and I thought there was a scene 
between me and the audience." "Well, 
the lights were bad, perhaps, but," sharply, 
" why have you kept out of my way for 
several nights in succession?" "Well, sir," 
naively, " I waited till the ' storm ' was over, 
for I knew if you had caught me then I was in 
for a jolly good shaking." The tragedian's face 
relaxed, and a twinkle came into his eyes as 
he said- — " Away with you, boy, you know 
me better than I know myself." 

At the end of those three years, Mr. 
Pollock, who had by this time married 
Mrs. Ryder, took up the reins of manage- 
ment, and at the end of a season went on 
tour with "his own company." These 
included Mrs. Pollock, Miss Vivace, Mr. and 
Mrs. Vivace, Harry Vivace, Mrs. Edward, 



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With Portraits and Illustrations. 



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Mr. Rivers, and Tom Ryder. Their first 
town was Montrose, and here they put up 
Gilderoy, and Cramond Brig for the opening 
night. Tom Ryder was cast for Jock Muir, 
but an hour before the performance began, it 
was found that poor Tom had gone amissing. 
He was searched for high and low, and at last 
he was found in a small public-house about 
the docks, in the company of a select coterie 
of coal slaves — o'er a' the ills o' life victorious! 
In the circumstances somebody had to take 
his part, so Mr. Pollock essayed to play a 
Scotch part. Pollock's Scotch, unfortunately, 
was not of the purest or best home manufac- 
ture ; and that, combined with an otherwise 
scratch performance, proved the downfall of 
the company. In fact, they very soon found 
themselves practically " stoney-broke." In- 
deed, they had to fall back on the staple food 
of auld Scotland — porridge, and porridge, too, 
without milk. Black treacle had to be 
resorted to as a substitute. Uempsay man- 
aged to pull through very well, but poor 
Harry Vivace, who was a Cockney born and 
bred, was a good deal upset over the fare the 
first morning it had to be resorted to. "Good 
God," he said, tragically, "poultice and tar ! 
You would laugh," he continued, " if you saw 
my sister eating ' stir about ' with a knife and 
fork." The company broke up in less than 
a month, and George Dempsay went south 
to Bolton, Lancashire, and joined his 
brother Jim, who had been there for some 
time. George found considerable difficulty 
in getting rid of his Scotch provincial tongue. 
On inquiring for his brother at Bolton, the 
man went inside the theatre and told Jim 
that " a man wants you, sir." " What's he 
like ? " was the query. " Oh, just a young 
man, but he speaks very funny like ; I can't 
quite make him out. I think he must be a 
Dutchman." It took George a long, long 
time before he could " talk English as she is 
spoke." He and his brother got on extremely 
well. They performed jointly at most of the 
biggest and best halls in the three kingdoms. 
Jim was a clever acrobat, and George did a 
bit of comic singing and knock-about busi- 
ness. They also played sketches together. 
During the time they were on tour they 
visited the Colosseum, Liverpool, where they 



had a most successful run, their names 
appearing at the top of the bill. One day 
George was " strolling round the town," and 
in Lord Street met and passed Barry Sullivan, 
who was fulfilling a starring engagement. 
Dempsay turned round after Barry had 
passed, and found that gentleman staring hard 
at him. The latter beckoned to George, 
who approached him. " I know you well,' 
said the tragedian, " who are you ? " " Little 
Geordie, your call-boy,'' was the answer. 
Need it be added with what zest they stood 
and talked of their lives ! " And so you're at 
the Colosseum," said Sullivan, " under what 
name are you playing ? " " The Brothers 
Dempsay," was the reply. "What ! you have 
your name as big as mine on the bills," was 
the next comment. And he evidently could 
hardly realise that his call-boy should appar- 
ently be as famous in his own particular 
line as he (Sullivan) was in his. 

Frank Clements. 



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OPINIONS OF THE PRESS. 

The Academy says : — TIas a certain directness 
and melody. There are verses, too, from which you 
may draw your fill of the little ironies of our common 
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The Free Press says : — Mr. Dowman's muse 
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The Dundee Advertiser says :— Many of the 
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SIGD0F5DeBRBSb&PeD 

^ny) Being some notes on the 

Black and White Artists 

of to da>^ 

^?§3 



No. 21.— MR. HAL LUDLOW. 




1 ><>-*( thou love pictures? we will fetch thee straight 

Adonis painted by the running hrook ; 

And Cytherea all in sedges hid ; 

Which seem to move and wanton with her breath, 

Even as the waving sedges play with wind. 

' ' Ta m ing of the Shrew" II. In tdn . 

HE all important question 
of " How to be Happy 
though Married," pales in- 
to utter insignifiance when 
compared with the painful 
problem of " How to look 
Pretty before." The point 
is an interesting one — not 
only to the fair feminine 
but to the mere male, for though Beauty may be, 
and doubtless is, but skin deep, and the higher 
qualification of Mind, as represented for the 
moment by skill in cooking a chop or darning a 
stocking is, of course, a far more important 
factor in the destiny of womankind when con- 
sidered by gentlemen of copy-book attributes, 
yet must we, as ordinary mortals, confess a fatal 
weakness for a pretty face. Many aids to the 
gentle art of looking lovely have been devised ; 
sundry volumes facetiously designated by some 
such title as "The Care of the Complexion*' 
have been written, printed, published, and, most 
surprising of all, sold ; any number of celebrities 
have followed the example of Her Grace of Plazo 
Toro, and 

Vow their complexion 
Owes its perfection 
To Somebody's soap — 

Which it doesn't! 

while even the People s Journal has, with char- 
acteristic interest in the welfare of man and 
womankind, offered prizes for letters on the 



subject. My recipe, however, is an entirely new 
one, neither recommended (for a consideration) 
by the clergy or the medical profession, and is 
simply a study of the pictures of lovely woman 
as depicted by a master-hand in the art of black 
and white. 

According to Sir Wyke Bayliss there is in this 
country something like 10,000 artists, but there 
is only one Hal Ludlow, and whatever claims he 
may have to Fame either as a painter or a black 
and white artist, he certainly deserves well of the 
ladies, for as Mr. Gilbert Dalziel put it when talk- 
ing over the matter with me the other day — "His 
girls break the hearts of nearly all our male 
readers, and I feel quite sure if a census could 
be taken on the subject that Hal Ludlow's ' girl ' 
drawings would be found to have done more on 
behalf of Cupid than anything I know of! " 

It is an accepted and well recognised fact, and 
one, moreover, for which you can easily obtain 
verification, at least so far as she personally is 
concerned, by consulting any of the ladies in 
question, that Aberdeen maidens, not to mention 
wives, and widows (under sixty), can only be 
compared individually and severally to Euph- 
rosyne, Aglaia, and Thalia combined, and there- 
fore require no adventitious aid to cross the 
Rubicon. Nevertheless a personality such as 
Mr. Ludlow, who has benefited endless pew- 
openers, clergymen, livery stable keepers, and 
caterers, and made innumerable mammas happy 
by keeping the matrimonial market active, could 
not fail to be interesting, and I therefore felt it to 
be my duty to find out all about him and his 
pictorial beauties-if only for the benefit of our 
less fortunate readers who hail not from the 
North. 




MY GIRL. 

Specially drawn for "Brown's Book-Stair' by Mr. Hal Ludlow. 



374 



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75 



Mr. Ludlow belongs to the Celtic Fringe, or at 
anyrate very nearly so, for he hails from that 
undetermined borderland, Monmouthshire, having 
been born at Newport in the year of grace, 
1859, exactly three hundred and twenty-four 
years from the time when Monmouth became an 
English county through no fault of its own. At 
four years of age there were symptoms — not as 
might have been expected of the measles or any 
such infantile luxury, but of the fact that there 
were the makings of an artist in him. His 
mother, however, treated the matter philosophic- 
ally, and no specialist was called in, nor did an 
article on him as an Infant Prodigy appear in the 
"Transactions" of any of the Learned Societies. 
In due course he was sent to school, to an 
establishment at Highgate in North London. I 
felt sure his recollections of these happy days of 
yore must be pleasant, and in my most effective 
and dramatic manner I reminded him how Poet 
Gray had risen to the occasion in recalling his 
schoolboy days — 

Ah, happy hills ! Ah, pleasing shade ! 
Ah, fields heloved in vain ! 
Where once my careless childhood stray'd, 
A stranger yet to pain ! 

Master Ludlow, however, did not feel quite like 
that. It was his first experience of the wide, 
wide world, and there was a good deal of the De 
Rougemont about the revelation. At anyrate 
after a week of it, he grew decidedly homesick, 
and decided to emulate his historical namesake, 
Hal o' the Wind, and make what might be 
called a lightning exit. In short, he ran away, 
and after devious wanderings, being quite a 
stranger to London, he found his way to a school 
in the neighbourhood of Regent's Park, where 
his eldest sister was a pupil. Miss Ludlow was 
naturally enough considerably surprised at the 
apparation of her small brother, who announced 
his unalterable determination to return to the 
parental roof. She was, however, a young lady of 
resource, and temporised, trying what the double 
influence of a good lunch and a little female 
society might effect. The Principal was con- 
sulted, and she agreed to Hal remaining for the 
day, so after having had his internal wants 
ministered to, he was sent out to the garden 
where he soon became the centre of attraction 
for all the young ladies of the establishment. 



Interrogated as to how it felt, Mr. Ludlow con- 
fessed that it was real jolly. 

" They were full of sympathy," he explained, in 
answer to my pained look, " and of course 
wanted to know all about it." 

" And did they k ? " 

" Certainly not ! " he answered hastily, ere yet 
I had completed my question, for there was a 
footstep on the stair that might have been Mrs. 
Ludlow's. Be this as it may, however, he con- 







Mr. Hal Ludlow. 

From a pencil sketch by himself, specially drawn for the 
" Book-Stall '." 



fesses that he made several sketches of some ot 
the nicest of them, but that, of course, was 
merelv to keep up his drawing studies The end 
of it all was that the Wanderer neither returned 
home, nor was he put back to Highgate, but was 
placed under rhe care of the Rev. Mr. Barber 
at a school in Camden Square 

The Flight, as above related, was the one 
eventful incident of his schoolboy days, and, 



376 



Brown's Book-Stall 



these over, his parents being - anxious to obtain 
advice as to the best method of following- out the 
Art career which he had determined on, Mr. 
Barber took him to that god-father of so many 
black and white artists, kindly, genial Mr. 
Thomas of the Graphic. Mr. Thomas advised 
him to learn wood-engraving, and shortly after- 
wards young Ludlow was articled to Messrs. 
Dalziel Brothers, the famous firm which produced 
so many beautiful examples of the wood engraver's 
art. The acquaintance thus begun between the 
Dalziels and Mr. Ludlow has developed into a 
life-long friendship, kept up to this day by Mr. 
Gilbert Dalziel, the erstwhile proprietor of Judy, 
and the present owner of the famous Half- 
Holiday, to both of which publications Mr. 
Ludlow has contributed some capital work. 
Finding that their apprentice had a taste for 
drawing, the firm placed a studio at his disposal, 
and launched him on his black and white career. 
In the evenings he studied at what was then 
Heatherley's School of Art in Newman Street. 
Soon afterwards he built himself a studio at 
Hampstead, for his skill as an artist had already 
become known, and work had begun to pour in, 
more particularly from the proprietors of the 
Pictorial World, which about this time had just 
come into existence. Since then he has con- 
tributed to practically every illustrated paper and 
magazine of note, including some remarkably 
clever drawings for Cassell's Family Magazine, 
perhaps one of the finest illustrated magazines 
of the present time, and a full-page each week to 
Illustrated Bits, that lively and most amusing 
little periodical, owned, edited, and published by 
Mr. T. H. Roberts. Indeed some of Mr. 
Ludlow's best work has appeared in this weekly, 
and if you follow Dr. Johnson's advice and walk 
down Fleet Street any day, you will always find 
a crowd round the window of Illustrated Bits, 
admiring the original drawings of these front 
page pictures. 

In short, for something like ten years, Mr. 
Ludlow has had his full share of the usual routine 
of public work — illustrating impartially " First 
Nights ' at the theatres, balls at the Mansion 
House, Drawing Rooms, famous cases at the 
Law Courts, Levels, Life in Parliament, and the 
thousand and one other events which go to the 
making up of a London " Season." 



" Hard work at the time," he remarked, when 
recalling these days, "but unquestionably the 
best all-round training the black and white artist 
could get." 

Of this busy but happy time he has many 
interesting and amusing recollections, and 
by exercising a due amount of diplomacy I 
managed to persuade him to recall a few mem- 
ories from the life of an artist-journalist. His 
first recollection was of Royalty. On one 
occasion he was commissioned to make a water- 
colour of a " Drawing Room " at Buckingham 
Palace for the Illustrated London News. It being 
his first experience of that sort of thing, he was 
naturally a little nervous. However a call on 
the Honourable Sir Spencer Cecil Brabazon 
Ponsonby-Fane, K.C. B., J. P., Comptroller of 
Accounts in the Lord Chamberlain's Department, 
and Gentlemen Usher to the Queen, resulted in 
Her Majesty granting Mr. Ludlow permission to 
make a sketch of the ceremony in the Throne 
Room — a very special and rarely granted privilege. 
Then arose the problem of attire. What was he 
to wear? he asked Sir Spencer. However that 
worthy, doubtless realising that his visitor, being 
neither a quick change artist nor a theatrical 
costumier, would probably have only a limited 
wardrobe, suggested ordinary evening dress. 
Thus arrayed, he drove with the Gentleman 
Usher to the Palace, and was there con- 
signed to the tender mercies of one of the 
attendants. " I set to work at once," remarked 
Mr. Ludlow, " but was soon conscious that I was 
attracting a greater amount of attention than was 
due even to a disciple of the brush and pen, but 
it was some time before I realised that in a 
company, which included all the dignitaries of 
the State, Ambassadors and Bishops, Lords, 
Ladies, and Generals in brilliant uniforms blazing 
with decorations, my plain black clothes made 
me as conspicuous as a crow which had wandered 
by accident into a company of gorgeous cock- 
atoos. My business," however, Mr. Ludlow con- 
tinued, "was to make sketches, so observing 
that the Chinese Ambassador was rather a big 
man, I concealed myself behind him, and in 
due course accomplished my task." 

Buckingham Palace was also the scene of 
another rather amusing experience, the occasion 
being the Reception of the Lord Mayor and 



Brown s Book-Stall 



37) 




Algy. I — er — er — really can't waltz, don't y' know. My head gets so giddy, I feel 
as if it were quite empty. 

Her Ladyship. Do you think it"s the waltzing. 

From the " Half- Holiday" by permission of Mr. Gilbert Dalziel. 



Civic Dignitaries during the Jubilee Celebrations. 
He arrived at the Palace simultaneously with the 
Court of Common Council, and as one of the 
members, Sir Albert Altman, was a personal 
friend they ascended the stairs together. How- 
ever, at the entrance to the Picture Gallery, the 
lower part of which was railed off until the 
Queen arrived, the artist was stopped by one of 
the City Officials. Mr. Ludlow assured him that 
he was making a mistake, and that he (the artist) 
had special permission to make sketches. The 
official was obdurate, however, punctuating his 
remarks with sundry references to Archibald 
Forbes and Windsor Castle. Finding he could 
not get in that way, Mr. Ludlow asked to be 
taken to Sir Spencer. Under the escort of 
another official he was taken up the Equerries' 
Staircase, eventually finding the object of his 
search in the Throne Room chatting with the 
Master of the Horse, the Duke of Portland. 



They were both much amused at Mr. Ludlow's 
story, and the former without further delay 
conducted the artist to the upper end of the 
Picture Gallery where a magnificent view of the 
ceremony could be obtained. The gentleman 
who had so zealously defended the right of way 
was still in his place with the Council behind the 
railing, and it was with a sickly sort of smile of 
welcome that he viewed Mr. Ludlow on his 
reappearance, as the latter, producing his sketch 
book, started down the room and proceeded to 
sketch him. That was the final straw, and the 
autocratic official incontinently fled ! 

About this time Mr Ludlow saw a great deal of 
the late Mr. Fred Barnard, and always found him 
a kind and genial man, full of quaint humour, of 
which his clever drawings were but the pictorial 
side. On one occasion when Mr Barnard 
was illustrating a Dickens series for Messrs. 
Dalziel, the boy messenger, who was evidently 



57« 



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Brown's Book-Stall. 



379 



not a Jaggers, had instructions to wait for the 
block. The combination of a comfortable seat 
and a warm fire soon set the lad snoring-. Mr. 
Barnard struck with the humour of the situation 
did not wake him until he had completed a capital 
caricature of the boy with his mouth wide open 
and fast asleep. Under it he wrote "The 
Industrious Apprentice who became Lord Mayor 
of London, and married his Master's Daughter." 
This, wrapped up with the block, the lad, in 
blissful ignorance of what the parcel contained, 
dutifully carried back to his employers. 

All of which reminded my friend in the Witness 
Box of still another incident which seems to 
illustrate how important a part the title of a 
drawing plays in its reception by the g-eneral 
public. He was doing a series of double-page 
drawings of popular seaside resorts for the 
Pictorial World, one of them being a representa- 
tion of Church Parade on the Lees at Folkstone. 
After its publication a gentlemen called on the 
Editor to express his delight with the picture. 
Not only did he recognise the scene, which was 
not altogether surprising, seeing it had the 
designation under it, but he also recognised 
nearly all the characters, including- several friends 
of his own ! The Immortal William asks — 

Oh, who could hold a fire in his hand 
By thinking of the frosty Caucasus, 
Or clog the hungry edge of appetite 
By hare imagination of a feast ? 

but Mr. Ludlow thinks this would have presented 
little difficulty to the gentleman aforesaid, more 
particularly in view of the fact that the drawing 
in question was done several years before the 
artist had ever been at Folkstone — the ladies and 
gentlemen figuring in the scene being evolved, 
so to speak, from his inner consciousness ! At 
anyrate Mr. Ludlow considered this the highest 
tribute that could have been paid to his imagina- 
tion. And, might we add, the other gentleman's 
as well? 

That celebrities are not quite so averse tc 
figuring pictorially in the public prints as they 
would have you to suppose is proved by an 
incident which happened to Mr. Ludlow some 
years ago. When the important Danubian Con- 
ference took place at Whitehall he was the only 
artist present. He was asked into the Council 
Chamber just as the discussion, which, of course, 



was carried on in French, was drawing to a 
close. The foreign diplomats were seated round 
an oval table, the late Earl of Granville presiding. 
To enable Mr. Ludlow to make his sketches, 
Lord Granville very courteously asked them to 
remain seated for a few minutes. It is against 
the natural order of things for an Ambassador to 
be "drawn,'' but on the whole they took kindly 
to the ordeal, with the solitary exception of the 
representative of the Tzar, who seemed to regard 
the whole proceeding with no slight degree of 
suspicion and every stroke of the pen but a 
straight line to Siberia. But these were the days 
before Stead and the Emperor of All the Russias 
were pals. Emboldened by such friendly en- 
couragement Mr. Ludlow mildly suggested that 
their photographs would enable him to get a more 
satisfactory result, at the same time giving 
several of them his card, never dreaming that 
anything would came out of it. However, next 
morning's post brought him quite a collection of 
portraits, many of them accompanied by most 
polite messages. Which all goes to show that 
Ambassadors are only very human after all. 

In his spare time Mr. Ludlow goes in for paint- 
ing, his water-colour work in particular being of 
exceptional charm and delicacy. He exhibits 
pretty regularly at the Royal Academy and also 
in Liverpool and in gallant little Wales. Of his 
black and white work I am able to give three 
very characteristic examples, the charming- study 
of a head — a real " Hal Ludlow girl " I may add 
— and the portrait of himself being specially 
drawn for the Book-Stall, while the other little 
sketch is reproduced from the Half-Holiday by 
kind permission of my friend Mr. Gilbert Dalziel. 
In conclusion I can but add that there is only 
one Hal Ludlow. In his own particular line he is 
unequalled as a black and white draughtsman. 
He is essentially a " ladies' man,' pictorially at 
all events, and, to fall back once more (with a 
slight emendation) on Will of Stratford for the 
inevitable tag without which no menu at the Sign 
of the Brush and Pen can be considered geniune, 
of the Ludlow girl it might well be said — 

"Tis beauty truly blent whose red and white 
Hal Ludlow's clever cunning hand laid on. 
Lady, you are the cruell'st she alive 
If you will lead these graces to the grave 
And leave the world no copy. 

J G. R. 



3 8o Brown s Book- Stall. 



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CYCLING MAP 
IS STILL 



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PRICE 



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SHILLING_ 



It shows all the Cycling Roads from Dundee to Elgin, 

distinctly marked. 
Price X/- or mounted on cloth, 2/- 



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and Publishers, 



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83 Union Street, Aberdeen, 




No. 58. 



June, 1899. 



Price One Penny. 




MEZZOTINT ENGRAVING OF THE 
LATE JOHN PHILLIP, R. A. 



The above is a reproduction of a charming- 
mezzotint engraving - of the portrait of the late 
John Phillip, R.A., which was painted by himself 
in 1840, and which has just been issued from 
Messrs. Hay and Lyall's Royal Fine Art Gallery, 
Aberdeen. The engraving is the work of Mr. 
William Smith, Jr., a well-known local artist, and 
is, we understand, the first example of the art of 
mezzotint done in Aberdeen. 

In the prospectus issued in connection with the 
work, " W. H. W." says : — " To those who know 
the original of the portrait of John Phillip it is at 
once evident that Mr. Wm. Smith, Jr., has given, 
within the limits of black and white, all the charm 
and grace that renders it so attractive, and as he 
has wisely determined to limit the number of 
proofs, there is no doubt that many will be 
anxious to secure a memorial in their own homes 
of one of the most famous of Scottish painters." 



The engraved surface of the plate measures 
12^ x gi inches, exclusive of margin. The repro- 
duction, which is enormously reduced, shows the 
style but gives no idea of the charm of the picture. 
As the impressions are very limited, collectors 
ought lo lose no time in securing a copy. 

»/# %V 

BREAK, BREAK, BREAK 

On thy cold, grey stones O Sea ! sang the poet, 
probably after a sojourn on the east coast of 
Scotland. But, though the stones are cold and 
grey, and, alas ! the days too often cold and 
grey also, the climate is bracing and health- 
giving. To the jaded worker in the grimy manu- 
facturing towns our stretches of sandy beach, our 
breezy links, and our picturesque cliffs are par- 
ticularly attractive. But these beauties have for 
long been obliged to blush unseen because a 
large proportion of the workers were ignorant of 
their existence. In Aberdeen, of late, an effort 
has been made to popularise our beach, but it has 
often been a source of wonder to us that those in 
authority in the charming little town of Stone- 
haven did not do more to advertise its advantages 
as a seaside resort. Picturesquely situated, 
abounding in delightful walks, with a bathing 
beach and a boating bay, lying in a sheltered 
hollow surrounded on the landward side by moors 
and heather hills, it forms an ideal place to spend 
a holiday, both for health and pleasure. A man 
of enterprise has, however, at last arisen, who 
has determined to do his best to make the place 
known, and for this purpose has issued a guide- 
book giving descriptions of the various places of 
interest, with a large number of illustrations, and 
what is a very useful feature, illustrations of the 
various houses let to visitors, with particulars as 
to accommodation, etc. The book will make a 
pleasant souvenir for those who have been there, 
and will be useful to those w r ho are asking, 
" Where shall we go this summer ! " Copies 
may be had from Brown's Book-Stall, post free 
for 8d. 



3»2 



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3*3 



MORE MEMORIES. 




T a Social and Musi- 
cal Meeting in a 
Parish Church 
Hall on the south- 
side of the city, a 
reverend gentle- 
man, an English- 
man, was returning 
thanks to the ladies 
for the valued 
services they had 
rendered that evening, and in doing so he 
said, with evident emotion and earnestness, 
" if it had not been for the ladies, not one of 
us would have been here to-night." The 
audience laughed heartily, but the clergyman 
could not see where the joke came in, which, 
however, only increased the hilarity of the 
meeting. 

A rather humorous scene took place 
during one of the early School Board Elec- 
tions in the city. One of the candidates, 
along with others, addressed a large meeting 
in the Music Hall. In doing so he was 
endeavouring, with great effort, to make him- 
self heard, which was not very easily done, as 
there was some excitement in the meeting, 
and the candidate had a very thin, weak, 
screechy voice. In a quiet moment the 
speaker craned his neck and made extra- 
ordinary exertions to secure a hearing. In a 
moment some clever youth, who saw the 
humour of the situation, gave a cock-o-ra-co, 
imitating most perfectly the crowing of a cock, 
which caused shouts of laughter, and had 
the double effect of silencing the orator and 
proving fatal to his candidature. Previous to 
the election of the Magistrates for the city, 
it is customary to have a private meeting of 
the Council the night before to make the 
selection, so as to prevent a division at the 
public meeting of the Council next day. 
Sometimes, for this honourable position, a 
considerable amount of quiet canvassing and 
wire-pulling goes on. On one occasion a 
member of the Town Council, well-known for 
his genial and kindly, although somewhat 



ostentatious manner, made a strong bid for 
the office. Pleased with his success, he was 
under the impression he had a majority in 
his favour. The vote took place by ballot, 
judge of his surprise when the announce- 
ment was made that he had only one vote. 
Next year another councillor was very desir- 
ous of the honour, and was very active in 
button-holing his colleagues for their support. 
Whatever answer they individually gave him, 
he had no doubt of the result, and felt con- 
fident that he would be appointed. In this 
case it was found on the declaration of the 
ballot that he had received but few votes, 
at which he was very angry, and gave expres- 
sion to his annoyance and disappointment 
in strong terms, alleging he had been 
deceived, and that the votes were not 
recorded as promised. His friend who was 
in a similar position the year before rose up 
to console and quiet him by declaring that 
" my experience last year was even more 
annoying, for I got many promises of sup- 
port, and I had only one vote, and begad, it 
was my own." 

The Council Chamber has been the scene 
of many a humorous incident. At one time 
a remit was made to the Master of Kirk and 
Bridge Works to examine and report as to a 
complaint made by the Session urging the 
necessity for some painting and repairs in 
the Vestry of the North Parish Church. 
The Convener was a man who, when talking 
publicly, deemed it necessary for impressive- 
ness and effect to pronounce the long vowels 
short and the short ones long in the words 
which he used ; and, to be still more effective, 
he dropped the final " r " in most of those with 
that termination. In reporting, he stated : — 
" I have gone down and examined the place, 
and I found the Vestry in a great mess of 
dust and dirt. The ashes were all about the 
fireplace as if it had not been cleaned for 
months. Altogether, it was disgraceful. I 
could not help thinking that the words of the 
Psalmist applied to that Session : — 

Her sents take pleas ha in her stons, 
To them her very dust is deah." 

The novel application of the words, the 
manner of the speech, and the pronuncia- 






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3«5 



tion, all combined to produce such boisterous 
laughter as for some time prevented the good 
humoured and genial councillor from pro- 
ceeding. 

The clergymen of the olden time have 
passed away, and one never hears a colloquy 
like the following now. Priest Gordon, as he 
was called, the venerable and esteemed 
clergyman of the Roman Catholic Chapel in 
Justice Street, spoke in the broad vernacular 
when preaching. On one occasion some 
ladies he knew occupied a seat not far from 
the pulpit. During his discourse he had to 
refer to Nebuchadnezzar. He could not get 
at the pronunciation of the word, and called 
it, with hesitancy, Nebuchod — Nebuchod — 
again stuttering, he said, Nebuchodnozar, at 
which one of the young ladies gave a loud 
gaw-faw. The old man stopping, looking 
over the pulpit to the interrupter, said, " O, ye 
needna lauch ; ye may mak a stammer yersel 
sometimes "— a gentle and well-deserved re- 
buke. 

The answer given by a working mason 
to a lady who had called upon him 
for a subscription, as they were to 
make a presentation to the minister of the 
parish, was rather pat and unanswerable — 
" Na, na, I'll nae gae onything for the 
minister's nae like me : he has nae broken 
time durin' the year." The attempt to secure 
a change of conviction by offering a bribe 
was illustrated by the following. A young 
man, very fond of dress and with a rather 
distinguished military appearance, occupying 
the position of a valet, took a liking for the 
Roman Catholic service, and attended the 
chapel pretty regularly. This was a great 
grief to his sisters, who consulted a friend 
and asked him to use his influence with 
their brother to give this up and resume 
church-going with them. At a fitting oppor- 
tunity this friend saw the young man and 
reasoned with him, all, however, with no 
effect. As a last resource, he said, " Look 
here, Black, if you give up attending the 
Roman Catholic Church, I will give you one 
of the finest suits you can choose. The 
valet, who had a lisp, looked at his tempter 
with contempt, and said, slowly and earnestly, 



" D'ye think that I would thel my thoul for a 
thuit of clothe." 

I was present when a rather interesting oc- 
currence took place in one of the West-End 
Churches. On a warm Sunday forenoon 
after the sermon, the hymn given out to be 
sung was — 

Asleep in Jesus, blessed sleep, 
From which none ever wakes to weep : 
A calm and undisturbed repose, 
Unbroken by the last of foes — 

The organist was to play over the tune before 
it was sung, but the keyboard gave no 
response to his touch — he looked astonished 
and somewhat put about, but the church 
officer who sat in the immediate vicinity saw 
the situation, and at once went downstairs 
with all speed, and there he found the organ 
blower — a youth — at his post, but sound 
asleep, so sound that he had never heard the 
organist's alarm-bell. After a long pause the 
organ was played, the reason of the delay 
was suspected by many, and that, and 
the words of the hymn in the circum- 
stances, caused a smile to pass over 
the congregation, which was not at all 
lessened by the appearance of the minister, 
who looked over the pulpit enquiringly but 
speechless at the detention, which he could 
not apparently understand. 

Railway travellers have sometimes rather 
curious experiences. An Aberdeenshire 
baronet, who once stood as a candidate to rep- 
resent the county in Parliament, was travelling 
on the Deeside Kailway along with his wife. 
There were few passengers in the compart- 
ment but themselves. After the train had 
gone as far as Murtle the baronet, addressing 
his wife, said, " Mary, I think there is fish 
here, I feel the smell of them." The wife 
replied, " Nonsense, you are mistaken." At 
this question an old gentleman in the opposite 
corner read his newspaper with great diligence. 
Approaching Culter the baronet again became 
restive, sniffing, and saying, " Mary, I am 
certain there is fish here, the smell is horrible. 
His wife again replied he was mistaken. On 
arriving at Park the old gentleman — an 
Aberdeen bailie — left the train, and his son 
was in the act of following. When in taking 
down a parcel wrapped in a newspaper from 






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Brown s Book-Stall 



387 



the rack, it fell and out spluttered half-a-dozen 
of fresh herrings on the carpeted floor. The 
youth gathered them up and made a hasty 
retreat, but not before hearing the irate 
baronet exclaim — " D — n it, Mary, I told 
you I felt the smell of fish, didn't I ? And 
there they are ! " 

Some people have an odd way of nam- 
ing diseases, making blunders • which are 
frequently very ludicrous. One day I 
entered a car and sat down beside a lady in 
deep mourning, whom I failed to recognise. 
However, she spoke, and asked if I had 
heard of the calamity which had befallen 
her, the death of her husband. I replied 
that I had not, and sympathetically enquired 
the cause, when she informed me it was by a 
fall, and that from the time it occured he 
never again recovered conscientiousness and 
was in a state of comative all the time. This 
reminds me of another who informed me 
that her father died of a stroke of perplexity, 
while a neighbour was suffering very much 
from ulsters in the stomach. This party 
used to attend the Music Hall on New Year's 
Day evening, and her favourite seat was the 
ostrich, the name she gave to the orchestra. 

One of the disadvantages of a large family is 
the prevention of amassing wealth, at least 
such was the opinion expressed by a lady in 
answer to a question as to a person in 
apparently very easy circumstances whether 
his father had not left him money. " Money," 
she said excitedly ; " money, how could he 
hae left him ony money, his father was a 
cobbler mannie wi' nineteen o' a family." 
Conclusive proof no doubt that his money 
was derived from some other source. Quaint 
replies are sometimes given to questions, 
especially those relating to matrimonial 
prospects. A country man and his friend 
were making purchases, when one of them 
stated confidently to the merchant that the 
other was to " tak' up hoose." " Has he got 
a house," enquired the merchant. " Weel, 
I dinna ken, but he's got the doo at ony rate." 

The newspaper advertising column often 
contains gems of unconscious humour. 
Between Dunkeld and Blair Athol a stage 
coach, the Duchess of Athol, used to run in 
the summer months. An advertisement made 



the following announcement — We have to 
announce the pleasing intelligence that the 
Duchess of Athol will leave the Duke's Arms 
every morning at eight o'clock. An Aber- 
deenshire minister, in a sermon reported some 
time ago, stated — " That the bane of the 
Church is that too much is expected of one 
man, the minister. He would require the 
strength of a Samson to overtake the multi- 
farious duties devolving on him." I do not 
know whether this is the clergyman who 
advertised about the time this appeared in 
a local paper for " A strong pony to do a 
parish minister's work." I hope he got the 
supply, and that the congregation appreciate 
it. " A mahogany child's chair " was the 
terms in which an enterprising cabinetmaker 
made the public aware of some of the articles 
he had to dispose, while equally startling was 
the demand of a country customer from her 
merchant for a pair of black gentleman's 
gloves, or the apprentice plumber who 
enquired at the lady of the house in which 
he was working if she could give him a long 
hen's feather. 

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44 Large Praying Wheel at Soonum." 
From a drawing by William Simpson, R. I. By permission of Messrs. MacMillan &> Coy., Ltd. 



Brown's Book-Stall. 



389 




No. 22.— MR. WILLIAM SIMPSON, R. I 




HE War Artist and Corres- 
pondent, like the Good 
Young Man, and those 
who find favour in the 
sight of the Gods, is 
popularly supposed to die 
young. Considering the 
wear and tear of tissue, 
so to speak, which a War 
" Special" on any of the big " dailies " or illus- 
trated weeklies has to put up with while on service, 
the superstition is not altogether devoid of 
foundation ; but, happily, it is not borne out by 
fact. Perhaps the most brilliant of all war 
correspondents, Mr. Archibald Forbes, who, like 
most other famous people, hails from Scotland, 
and like the man who forestalled Marconi, or the 
other distinguished gentleman (from Tomintoul), 
who is credited with having been guilty of lese 
majesty (not altogether a difficult feat, I admit), 
has even a passing acquaintance with Aberdeen, 
was 61 last birthday ; but Archibald, you say, 
had the constitution of a motor car, and, more- 
over, has for many years been placed practically 
hors de combat through the hardships and priva- 
tions which he endured while in the pursuit of his 
profession. Well, Sir William Howard Russell, 
the doyen of War Correspondents, is in his 
eightieth year, and is still hale and hearty. Then 
there is Mr Frederick Villiers (who, by the way, 
has been good enough to consent to be " run " 
in this little show), of whom we saw something in 
Aberdeen a few months ago, and who certainly 
did not look like what might be called from an 
insurance point of view, a bad risk. He is 47. 
Mr. Melton Prior does not rashly give the date of 
his birth in the publications where you find such 



things, but he could hardly be considered a young 
man ; while lastly, comes Mr. William Simpson, 
R. I. , most intrepid and fearless of war artists and 
travellers, who, though he has passed the seventy- 
fifth milestone, is more active, both mentally and 
physically, than many a stay-at-home not half his 
age who has always seen that the sheets were 
well aired, and was careful to avoid draughts — 
the windy and not the watery ones, of course. All 
of which tends to show that, provided the demand 
for the article keeps up, one might as well — at all 
events so far as longevity is concerned — try their 
'prentice hand at a little war sketching, as at any 
less sensational occupation. The profession does 
not appear to be overcrowded ; the life gives 
promise of considerable excitement, and you do 
not always require a broken column as a tomb- 
stone, while if you are fortunate enough to accom- 
pany such a gallant army as the modern Greek 
disported on the plains of Thermopylae a season 
or two ago, and can attach yourself to the per- 
sonal staff of the local M. P. , who, if he is pushful 
and patriotic, ought to be as near the front as is 
compatible with safety, you run no unnecessary 
risk of seeing too much of the enemy, or what is 
even better, allowing him to see too much of you. 
Here, then, was a possible solution to the vexed 
conundrum : "What shall we do with our boys ?" 
Before ventilating it, however, I felt it might be 
advisable to gain a few more facts about a War 
Artist's career. With that object in view, I applied 
at the Fountainhead — to wit Mr. William Simp- 
son, the first, both in point of numerical profession 
and of merit, of war artists, but I returned a 
sadder, if wiser man. 

" If you can go without your food for from 
thirtv-six to forty-eight hours at a stretch," said 




k 

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-3 -^ 



o 

*" ,«* 

o $ 

CO „ 

O £ 

o 

o $ 

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Brown's Book-Stall. 



39i 



Mr. Simpson, when I had got comfortably seated 
in his cosy little room out Willesden way, " and 
can sleep well with the thermometer at zero, and 
the blanket supply correspondingly low ; if you 
are prepared to let the enemy make a target of 
you while you are calmly sketching - , and have no 
rooted antipathy to be shot as a spy ; if, after a 
day and a night on the field, you can cheerfully 
start on a thirty mile ride to the nearest 
Post-Office, through an unknown country 
swarming it may be with defeated and 
blood-thirsty savages, so that your sketches may 
be published before those of your rivals ; if you 
can resist the use of Hebrew expletives when you 
find the other man theve before you, having 
viewed the fight as Moses did the Promised Land; 
if you " 

" Hold : enough ! " I cried, for the last test 
seemed be)'ond mortal endurance. " This is a 
more arduous life than belonging to the Aberdeen 
Fire Brigade, or looking after the Corporation 
Baths, both well-paid offices " 

" If" — he continued, remorselessly — " if you 
can manage all this, dodge the enemy's bullets, 
escape the malaria, avoid being turned back by 
the General in command, and have a passable 
knowledge of nine or ten different languages, can 
draw fairly well and rapidly, and know as much 
about tactics as a Field-Marshal " 

14 Which mightn't be much," I ventured to add, 
but he looked severe. 

"If you are equal to these little things, and 
perhaps half a dozen others which I have over- 
looked, you may turn out well in the ' Special at 
the Front ' business, or," he added cheerfully, 
"you may not, which, after all, is the more 
likely." 

My subject for a letter to the papers was gone, 
and I naturally felt it However, there was 
always the Book-Stall — which publishes anything, 
as witness the length of time I have contributed 
to its pages — to fall back upon, and if my conver- 
sation with Mr. Simpson served no nobler purpose, 
it at least afforded the material for the production 
of this effusion. With which introductory re- 
marks let me to business. 

Mr. William Simpson, member of the Royal 
Institute of Painters in Water Colours, honorary 
member of the Royal Institute of British Archi- 
tects, and of the Glasgow Institute of Architects, 



member of the Executive Committee of the 
Palestine Exploration Fund, Fellow of the Royal 
Geographical Society, member of the Royal 
Asiatic Society, Hon. Librarian to the Society of 
Biblical Archaeology, member of the Alpine Club, 
and one of that select and distinguished body the 
Omar Khayyam Club, is, it is perhaps now 
unnecessary to explain, a Scotsman. Away 
back on 28th October, 1823, he first favoured the 
world in general and Glasgow in particular with 
his presence. His Art training, after a not too 
elaborate education in Glasgow and in Perth, 
began, prosaically enough, in an architect's 
office. Though there was little in common 
between this, his first step in life, and the career 
which he subsequently adopted, the influence of 
the former was not altogether without its effect, 
for all through his long, arduous, and adven- 
turous life, he has had a more than passing 
interest in Architecture, as numerous able papers 
read to the Royal Institute of British Architects, 
and containing much valuable and till then 
unknown information regarding the various 
styles of architecture — many of them new — 
which he has met with on his travels, will bear 
witness. Having served his "span" as an 
apprentice lithographic artist with the firm of 
Allan & Ferguson of Glasgow, he turned his 
steps southwards, and, in 1851, came to London 
and entered the employment of Messrs. Day 
& Sons, then the principal lithographic firm in 
the Metropolis. Three years later the war with 
Russia broke out, and one day his employers 
did their best to startle him by asking if he 
would like to go to the Crimea. With character- 
istic coolness he answered " Yes," and being a 
man of action rather than of words, he was off 
' the next morning. Mr. Simpson's long associa- 
tion with the Illustrated London News has doubt- 
less given rise to the belief now generally held 
that it was in the interests of that paper that he 
first went to the front, but this is quite erroneous, 
as it was nearly twelve years later before he 
entered the service of the Illustrated Londo?i News. 
It was not long before young Simpson was to 
experience some of the stern realities of a war 
artist's career, for he arrived at Balaclava about 
the middle of November on the day following the 
great storm, and was a sorrowful witness of, and 
to some extent participator, in all the horrors of 



39* 



Brown's Book-Stall. 



that awful winter in the camp. To relate one tithe 
of Mr. Simpson's endless experiences and adven- 
tures during his stay in the Crimea would fill 
volumes, but the following- little incident which 
he related to me has the double advantage of 
not having been previously published, and being 
particularly Scotch in flavour : — 

" I was coming to Balaclava from the front 
one winter evening,'' Mr. Simpson began — "it 
was gloaming time — and as I had given the road 
a wide berth to avoid the mud, I found myself at 
Kadikoi, considerably to the east of the main 
thoroughfare. Kadikoi was all entrenched to 
defend Balaclava, and was held by the Highland 
division under Sir Colin Campbell, and a French 
division under Vinois. To save a long detour I 
made a run, leaped the ditch of the entrenchment, 
and scrambled up the parapet, where I was met 
by two French sentries — gun and bayonet in 
hand — ready to deal with any foe that might 
appear. It turned out that it was the eve before 
the Emperor of Russia's birthday, and the guards 
had all been doubled in case of an attack. I soon 
explained to them," continued Mr. Simpson, 
" why I was there, and as no one seemed to 
follow me, I was permitted to proceed in peace. 
When I passed Kadikoi I noticed a group of 
figures sitting on the ground in a vineyard. The 
sound of their voices told me they belonged to 
one of Sir Colin's regiments, so I thought I would 
just cheer them up with a few words in the 
broadest Doric I could muster. The effect was 
electrical, and, I confess, surprised me ; two or 
three of them jumped up and embraced me — they 
all had their arms about me— and the hug of a 
bear could not have been much superior to the 
embrace I received. I had an old plaid thrown 
over my shoulder and the portfolio under my arm 
was hid by it, but one of them felt it in the 
hugging process, and I heard him exclaim — 
" Good Lord, it's Russell o' the Times ; we'll a' be 
i' the papers." I then explained who I was, and 
that 1 was coming one of these days to sketch 
them all, whereupon they produced an empty 
bottle, explaining with many apologies that it 
was only that moment finished — which may 
perhaps account for the warmth of their saluta- 
tion — but if I would only come to their tents, they 
said, the grog will be served oot, and ye' 11 get 
a drap. This I did not care to do, but I told 



them about the two French sentries, when one 
of them remarked—" What big fules they were 
to tak' ye for a Rooshian, when ye can speak such 
gude broad Scotch ! " 

11 ' Big,' you will understand," added Mr. 
Simpson, "is a euphemism — but you will no 
doubt be able to guess the real word he used. ' 

On Mr. Simpson's sketches reaching England 
they were first sent to the Queen, who 
was- particularly desirous of having the 
fullest knowledge of all that was going 
on, and who sent him a commission to do a 
water-colour of the Guards Camp, including 
sketches of Prince Edward of Saxe-Weimar, 
Lord James Murray, brother to the Duke of 
Athol, and others. This was only one of many 
special commissions executed at intervals for 
Her Majesty, and it was when delivering person- 
ally one of the pictures so ordered that he first 
made the personal acquaintance of the Queen. 
He had called at Buckingham Palace with the 
drawing, and was informed that the Queen would 
see him herself. Gracious as Her Majesty 
always is, she complimented Mr. Simpson very 
warmly on his pluck in going " under fire," and 
manifested the liveliest interest in his adventures 
— exhibiting all the while a knowledge of the 
localities about Sebastopol and the trenches that 
surprised her visitor. 

After the fall of Sebastopol the Duke of New- 
castle, who had come out, invited Mr. Simpson 
to accompany him on a journey to Circassia, then 
almost an unknown region to travellers from this 
country. The Admiral sent a man-o'-war to take 
the party, which was joined in Circassia by 
Laurence Oliphant, who accompanied them on 
some of their trips to the interior. "At times," 
remarked Mr. Simpson, " we were hard up for 
food, but could always get boiled maize — like 
porridge — and a peculiar kind of sour milk, with 
which Oliphant and I, from our Scotch training, 
were able to make a good meal while our 
companions were nearly starving." 

These experiences, so far from tiring Mr. 
Simpson of travel, only made him long for more, 
and this desire ultimately led to an arrangement 
with Day & Son to go to India to produce 
a series of sketches to be reproduced in a 
large work in chromo-lithography. The Mutiny 
had at the time drawn public attention to that 



Brown's Book-Stall. 



393 



region, and it was thought that a good standard 
work would succeed. It meant two or three years' 
work in travelling — for railways were not then so 
plentiful in India as now — and making the neces- 
sary drawings. The summers were spent in the 
Himalayas, visiting the source of the Ganges, a 
very sacred spot, and one of which, from its very 
nature, but few pictures exist. To the kindness 
of Mr. Simpson I am able to reproduce along 
with this notice a drawing of it specially made 
for the Book-Stall. The scene depicted in the 
sketch is known to the Hindus as " The Cow's 
Mouth," and purely mythic pictures or sculptures 
in India represent the water of the great river 
flowing from the mouth of a cow. This spot, or 
rather one about twenty miles below that shown 
in the drawing, is visited annually by a countless 
number of pilgrims. From the Temple to which 
these devotees go to the actual source, there is 
no path, but Mr. Simpson tells me that it is not 
very difficult ground to get over. " I bathed," 
he added, " in what is the foreground of the 
picture, and drank some of the water — this 
ritual, according to the Brahmanic belief, 
washing away all previous sin." 

On the occasion of his last visit to the hills, Mr. 
Simpson forestalled Mr. Savage Landor, by 
passing over into Tibet and making the acquain- 
tance of the Llamas. There he picked up a 
Buddhist Praying Wheel, and learned how to use 
it. From that he was led to inquire into its origin 
— for previously the Praying Wheel had never 
been treated seriously as an actual form of 
worship. Becoming fascinated with the subject, 
Mr. Simpson made an exhaustive study of it, the 
result being a most interesting and valuable contri- 
bution to the scanty literature on Praying Wheels, 
in the shape of a volume published by him through 
Messrs. MacMillan & Coy. about three years ago. 
The book exhibits a vast amount of research, and 
a most exhaustive study of the symbolism of the 
Wheel, as well as of the subject of circular move- 
ments in religious ritual generally, and it is not 
crediting Mr Simpson with too much when I say 
that he has to a great extent explained the real 
meaning of this curious piece of mechanism. Our 
other illustration is a reproduction of the frontis- 
piece to that volume— a drawing of a large 
Praying Wheel at Soonum, made on the spot by 
Mr. Simpson, and for permission to reproduce 



which I am indebted to the ready courtesy of 
Messrs. MacMillan. 

Well, it took about three years to obtain the 
material for the projected book, and three or four 
more after his return to make the drawings. 
Just as Mr. Simpson had finished, Messrs. 
Day & Son finished too. That is to say they 
failed, and he was left without a penny for his 
seven years' work. His drawings — 250 of them 
— became part of the bankrupt stock, and sold 




Mr. William Simpson, R. I. 

From a Heliogravure Portrait. 

off cheap. This was in 1866, and was the im- 
mediate cause of his connection with the Illus- 
trated London News. 

Than Mr. Ingram, as he then was, there was 
no abler or more enterprising journalist, 
and he was not slow to realise the value of the 
latest addition to his staff. The Ne7vs was the 
pioneer of Illustrated Journalism, and Sir 
William's policy then as now was that it should 
continue so. No trouble or expense was too 



E 



394 Brown s Book-Stall. 



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395 



great to make the paper up-to-date, and when an 
opportunity of scoring- presented itself, the 
Proprietor was not the man to let mere money 
weigh in the balance So the first thing he did 
was to send off Mr. Simpson to St. Petersburg 
to attend the wedding of the late Tsar. The 
Prince of Wales was there, and the /. L. N. 
representative was honoured with an invitation to 
accompany him to Moscow, which he visited at 
that time. 

A couple of years later he accompanied his old 
friend, Lord Napier of Magdala, through the 
Abyssinian Campaign, but got back in time to 
illustrate the new route to India via the Mont 
Cenis Tunnel and Brindisi shortly to be opened 
up by the completion of the Suez Canal. In 
Egypt, the Duke of Sutherland, Sir John Fowler, 
Russell of the Times, Professor Owen, and Mr. 
Simpson were " personally conducted " by M. 
de Lesseps over the Canal. 

Then came the stirring time of the Franco- 
Prussian War. It was declared on 15th July, 
1870, and Mr. Simpson was shot off on the 
instant to Paris, from which he pushed on to 
Metz, where he remained until the first battles 
took place, when all the correspondents had to 
return to Paris in consequence of what was 
known at the time as the "Spy Fever." They 
had all been so often made prisoners as " Espions" 
that it was impossible, without danger even to 
their lives, to carry on their work. When the 
Battle of Sedan took place, Mr. Simpson journeyed 
thither, going round by Belgium, then to Stras- 
burg, where he happened to be in the advanced 
trench when the French hoisted the white flag. 
After that he went to Metz, and saw the finish 
there, with the French Army going off as prison- 
ers of war to Germany. 

A rather severe illness, brought on by hardship, 
followed, but it did not prevent him starting for 
Paris in the spring of the following year, and 
remaining there through all the terrible time of 
the Commune. Then off to China to represent 
the News at the marriage of the Emperor Tung- 
Chin, in Pekin, on which auspicious occasion he 
also, by a good deal of hard work, contributed a 
series of letters to the Daily News at the request 
of Sir John Robinson, thus playing the part of a 
sort of double-barrelled correspondent, artist and 
author too ! Returning by way of Japan and 



America, he was pulled up short at San Francisco 
in consequence of a war in North Carolina 
between the American troops and the Modoc 
Indians. So he went on the war-path, and for 
some time lived in imminent danger of losing his 
scalp. 

Then, to recapitulate but briefly the other 
journeys of this modern Ulysses — for space is 
getting limited — he accompanied the Prince of 
Wales to India in 1875, a " one man " exhibition 
of the sketches then made being the result — about 
a dozen of which were bought by the Prince, 
and now hang at Sandringham. Dr. Schlie- 
mann's discoveries at Mycenae in 1877 led to him 
being sent there, while at the same time he visited 
the Troad, and afterwards proceeded to Ephesus. 
A couple of articles on the explorations at Mycenae, 
written on his return, led to a fierce paper war 
between him and the great Explorer, in which 
the friends of the artist gave him the credit of not 
coming off second best. 

Next year saw him with Sir Sam Browne's 
force in the Khyber, and he was at the taking of 
Ali Musjd, and subsequently at Jellalabad, where 
he witnessed the Signing of the Peace at Gunda- 
muck. Lastly, in the "big trip" line, was his 
journey with Sir Peter Lumsden on the Afghan 
Boundary Commission to Central Asia — he being 
the only correspondent permitted, though lots 
wanted, to go. On his return he was called to 
Balmoral by Royal Command, where he spent a 
couple of nights as the guest of Her Majesty. 

Since then he has been at many, comparatively 
speaking, minor events — the wedding of the 
Emperor of Germany, at Berlin ; the Coronation 
of the Emperor of Russia, at Moscow, and so on. 
His has been the good fortune to witness the 
making of many a page of the World's History, 
and to perpetuate the memory of it pictorially. 
One has but to look back through a file of the 
Illustrated London Ne7vs — that invaluable *' abs- 
tract and brief chronicle of the time" — to realise 
how much Mr. Simpson has been the witness of, 
and how faithfully, how cleverly, and how artistic- 
ally he has played his part as a painter of all that 
has been of importance and of interest for nearly 
forty years. J. G. R. 

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No. 59. 



July, 1899. 



Price One Penny 




ABERDEEN WORTHIES. 

MORE MUSICAL REMINISCENCES. 

HAD purposed to con- 
tinue my rambles with 
Mr. George Dempsay 
this month, but circum- 
stances have arisen that 
at the last moment 
prevent me from doing 
so. I am now writing 
with the devil at my 
elbow — the printers' Mephisto, it may be 
explained — and he waits for "copy " ! I left 
off with the " Concordia " when I last wrote 
on musical matters. This time let me tell 
you something of the founding of the Aber- 
deen Choral Union, our premier musical 
body. 

" At Aberdeen, and within the Music 
Hall Buildings there " — so runs the minute — 
"on Wednesday, the 10th day of November, 
1858, at a meeting held immediately after a 
conference of the conductors and secretaries 
of the various musical societies in Aberdeen 
with the Music Hall Company, at which a 
basis for the formation of a Choral Union in 
Aberdeen, with the Music Hall Company, 
had been agreed on ; Mr. Arthur Thomson 
was unamimously chosen chairman of the 
meeting ; the gentlemen present (there were 
22 in all) agreed to become members of a 
Choral Union to be formed on the basis 
agreed on at the conference." With such a 
carefully worded minute success was bound 



to follow the launching of this great enter- 
prise. Very much of the auspicious start 
was due to the selection of a veritable musical 
giant as conductor of the Union. Mr. 
Richard Latter, R.A.M., was then a pro- 
minent local professor of music, and at the 
time of his association with the Union also 
held the appointment of conductor of the 
Musical Association. He was essentially a 
singer, and a teacher of singing, as well as a 
voice trainer. His own voice was a rich, 
round, full bass, and together with his magni- 
ficent physique carried conviction of his great 
ability as an interpreter of song. En passant, 
it may be mentioned that Mr. Latter con- 
tinued to preside over the musical rehearsals 
and concerts of the Union till 1872 when he 
left Aberdeen for London, there to carry on 
the work of a professor of singing at the 
Guildhall School of Music. He kept that 
important appointment till his fine black hair 
changed to a beautiful snowy white — till he 
died, in fact, last year. It is also worthy of 
note that out of the 22 who formed the 
Union, none are now members, and only three 
are alive, viz., Mr. Wm. Carnie, Mr. George 
Walker, of Book-Stall fame, and Mr. John 
Watson, late dyer. The latter held the 
honourable position for many years before his 
resignation of chairman of committee. 

At its inception the Union extended the 
hand of fellowship to its elder brother the 
Musical Association. Macedonia like, these 
good people being asked to " come over and 
help us." Mendelssohn's well-known oratorio 
St. Paul was the first work chosen for practice, 
and the aid of the Musical Association was 



398 



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invoked "especially as they had been trained 
in some of the choruses of the oratorio." 
But the Association would have nothing to 
do with the usurping body, and like a certain 
Biblical character, " passed by on the 
other side." Considerable rivalry existed 
between the two organisations for many, 
many years, and indeed the rivalry only died 
when the Association became defunct in 
1884. In so far as the Union members were 
concerned their standing grievance against 
the older choir was that it persisted in giving 
gratis concerts right on to the end of its 
existence. The Musical Association, it must 
be confessed, was a pretty exclusive and 
somewhat aristocratic combination, and, if 
the truth were told, social position constituted 
a more powerful factor in the "joining" or 
admitting of members than did purely 
musical qualifications. The result was that 
the major portion of the singing was left to 
a few good singers and true, while the 
remainder of the members contented them- 
selves by trying to look their very best at the 
various concerts the Society gave. The male 
membership annual subscription was a 
guinea, which covered all charges, including 
copies of the music, while in the Union 5/- a 
year was all that was asked, but members 
had to pay their own music. 

The constitution of the " Choral," among 
other things, provided " that the Union shall 
not exceed three hundred practical members, 
male and female," and as showing the re- 
markable enthusiasm with which the project 
was at once taken up, it is on record in the 
first report of the registrar, Mr Peter Riddell, 
Harbour Treasurer, now deceased, that on 
30th March, 1859, there were 238 names on 
the roll. The composition was as follows : — 
Sopranos, 75 ; Altos, 52 ; Tenors, 53, Basses, 
58 — the average attendance at rehearsals 
being 777. A committee of twelve was 
appointed at " the first general meeting of the 
Aberdeen Music Hall Choral Union "— so 
called in consequence of the help extended 
by the Directors of the Music Hall Company ; 
indeed a deed of co-partnery existed for some 
time between the two. Only two of that com- 
mittee are now alive — Messrs. W. Carnie and 
George Walker. Provost Webster, Chairman 



of the Hall directors, presided at this meeting, 
at which Mr. James Valentine, originally a 
journalist and latterly, up to the time of his 
death, known as Registrar for the Parish of 
Old Machar, was appointed the first Chairman 
of the Union. Occasional practisings were 
held, to which the Music Hall directors and 
a few other prominent citizens were invited, 
but the Union made no public appearance 
till the ever memorable opening of the large 
Music Hall in October, 1859. It may be 
remembered by some of my older readers 
that the late Prince Albert, the Queen's 
Consort, took a lively interest in the opening 
of this, the finest hall in the city. Two 
concerts were given on that occasion, one on 
the 19th of October, at which Si. Paul was 
performed for the first time in Aberdeen. 
The solo vocalists included Madame Weiss 
as soprano ; Madame Dolby, contralto ; Mr. 
Lockey, tenor ; and Mr. Weiss (of " The 
Village Blacksmith " repute), bass. At the 
second concert, on the following night, the 
same artistes with Madame Arabella Goddard, 
the celebrated pianist, added, gave a miscel- 
laneous programme. In connection with 
this important event, I should mention that 
negotiations were opened Mr. Sims Reeves 
to sing at both concerts, but the greatest 
tenor of the century could not be prevailed 
upon to come. Mr. Howard's band from 
Edinburgh assisted the local contingent in the 
accompaniments at these concerts. From the 
local newspaper notices of the time, we learn 
that the concerts proved unqualified successes, 
and congratulations to everybody concerned 
followed at the first committee meeting held 
thereafter. 

The Union had not been called into being 
many months ere it was found necessary, or 
at least beneficial, to found an orchestral 
branch. The formation of the instrumental 
section, however, proved a slow and labor- 
ious process, but, thanks to the energy and 
enthusiasm displayed chiefly by Mr. William 
Spark, a violin teacher of very considerable 
eminence in the city, the object was 
ultimately attained. As I have said, Mr. 
Spark was a most conscientious teacher, but 
he was also a somewhat erratic man. He 
had a talented family, some of whom are, so 



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401 



far as I know, still alive, one son, especially, 
after serving his apprenticeship as a draughts- 
man with Messrs. Keith & Gibb, having 
turned out a capital " black and white " 
artist. For ten years the Union maintained 
its good work, rendering regularly interesting, 
instructive, and highly educative per- 
formances of various oratorios, such as 
Samson, Jephtha, Israel in Egypt, and Judas 
Maccabceus, as well as the Messiah, annually 
about Christmas. About this time it occurred 
to the Chairman of Committee, Mr. James 
Valentine, already referred to, to formulate 
a scheme of Saturday Evening Entertain- 
ments, under the auspices and direct control 
of the Choral Union. This, it may be said 
in passing, was the first genuine attempt to 
popularise really good music in Aberdeen. 
The programmes for the most part consisted 
of well-known and popular songs, instrumen- 
tal items, and readings, but some of the best 
professional talent of the day together with 
an occasional amateur of ability constituted 
the rank and file of those taking part in 
them. The prices ranged from a shilling each 
for the front seats to threepence for the east 
gallery and back of hall and promenade. It 
may not be out of place to draw the attention 
of those local gentlemen who are responsible 
for the " running " of the present-day Cor- 
poration or City Concerts to the marvellous 
success of those early-time entertainments. 
There was no attempt to sing, play, or read 
over the heads of the audiences who were 
wont to assemble in the Music Hall. The 
majority of those who patronised the enter- 
tainments were working men and their wives 
and families, and for those who cared to 
invest in a season's concerts, tickets, arranged 
in groups, were provided at reduced charges 
from single entertainments. Thus 12/-, as 
far as I remember, constituted the charge 
for a front seat for the sixteen concerts given 
during the session, and these were eagerly 
sought after, not by the dilettante so much as 
by middle-class music-lovers. The other 
parts of the house had also their season 
tickets at correspondingly lower rates. Of 
course, it must be borne in mind, that only 
first-class artistes took part in these entertain- 
ments, and consequently interest, and not a 



little enthusiasm, was maintained throughout. 
The lack of that essential element no doubt 
accounts for the existing apathy and want of 
patronage at the Saturday concerts now in 
existence. 

The first series of the Choral Union Satur- 
day Evening Entertainments was held during 
the 1867-68 season, and financially and 
musically proved eminently satisfactory. Mr. 
Adam Traill, an active member of the 
committee, whose death, by the way, occurred 
at South Shields early in 1894, was appointed 
manager. The concerts were carried on for 
several successive seasons, and among the 
performers who took part, of whom I have 
pleasurable recollection, I may mention Mrs. 
Sunderland, Madame Cole, Madame Sherring- 
ton, Madame Van Noorden (who was wont 
to sing "The Murmur of the Shell," a 
splendid song now relegated to a top shelf, I 
suppose, and " Scots Wha Hae," with organ 
accompaniment by Mr. Alex. Laing, in a 
manner not readily to be forgotten) ; and 
Miss Helen Kirk, the " Queen of Scottish 
Song," of her own or any other time ! The 
popular story of the unearthing of this justly 
celebrated singer is worth mentioning, 
although I have my doubts as to its authen- 
ticity. It seems that a professor of music 
was walking along Argyle Street in Glasgow 
one stormy night when he came on a small 
group of street loungers gathered round a 
little girl who was singing " Afton Water." 
The purity of the little waif's voice so 
enamoured him that he joined the miniature 
throng and waited till the song was finished. 
At its conclusion, " so the story goes," he 
was so captivated with the expression and 
general rendering of the lyric that he 
immediately interviewed the young artiste, 
and there and then made arrangements for the 
education and training of his youthful protege. 
The tale is romantic enough in all conscience, 
but the fact was patent that Miss Kirk 
remained a " natural " singer, without dis- 
playing any of the tricks or devices of pro- 
fessional training, till the day she sang for the 
last time. In common with most profes- 
sional people, Miss Kirk was very supersti- 
tious, and I can remember her telling that 
she never went to bed without first having 



402 



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placed a loaded pistol under her pillow in 
case of any attempt being made to take her 
life ! As an exponent of her native songs 
Helen Kirk left no equal, and she was wise 
in her own interest not to attempt any higher 
flight. Only once, I believe, did she try to 
soar into oratorio, and the attempt proved a 
miserable failure. Afterwards she kept to 
Scottish song. Alas, the pity of it, she died 
when but a comparatively young woman, and 
under sad and distressing circumstances. 
But over that last blurred page in her life's 
history, I would, with tender hand, draw a 
veil. To me, a thoughtless, waggish boy, 
she was kind and gentle, like an elder sister 
who would remonstrate with her little brother 
when he got into youthful scrapes and un- 
thinkingly played his boyish pranks. And I 
am ever prone to revere the memory of the 
living at their best, rather than to sigh over 
the " what might have been " of the dead. 

Frank Clements. 



THE LATE MR. ALFRED BRYAN. 

la* 

WE have to chronicle with very 
sincere regret the death of Mr. 
Alfred Bryan, an notice of whose 
career appeared in our January 
issue. For a long time Mr. Bryan had been 
ailing, and on the occasion of our interview 
with him his health was anything but robust. 
He was in harness to the last, having paid 
his weekly visit to the theatre on behalf of 
the Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News 
on the Tuesday preceding his death, which 
occurred on Thursday of the same week. 
One of the last large cartoons executed by 
Mr. Bryan was that specially drawn by him 
for our pages, in which a number of local 
and other celebrities were depicted. By the 
death of Mr. Bryan the art of cartooning 
loses one of its most brilliant exponents, 
and his countless personal friends and 
acquaintances mourn the loss of a kindly- 
hearted, clever, genial gentleman. 




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SIGDOFGIORflSb&PeD 

\wvv Be ' n g some notes on the 
Black and White Artists 
of to day 



> / 
Si 



No. 23.— MR. MAX COWPER. 




HE early struggles of famous 
men, their combats with 
Adversity, the undaunted 
perseverance and untiring 
energy which they have 
displayed, while yet hardly 
out of short trousers, in 
compelling the world in 
general and those more 
directly concerned in particular to realise that 
they had a Mission to fulfil, were designed by a 
wise Providence, not so much to chasten the 
celebrities themselves and prevent them indulging 
in that Pride of which Mr. Samuel Daniel, poet 
and historian (but evidently no prophet, as witness 
the last linej, wrote somewhere about 1600, and 
presumably prior to the establishment of the 
Baker Incorporation — 

How poor a thing is Pride ! when all, as slaves, 
Differ but in their fetters, not their graves — 
as to provide suitable material for their future 
biographers. Where, I want to know, would the 
writer of that fascinating volume which 
dear little Peter won at the Sunday School have 
been if his hero had not fought with the World, 
the Flesh, and the Devil till, as Mr. Gilbert puts 
it, " All was blue" ? Then note what a godsend 
it was to whoever was to write the Life of Lord 
Heaconsfield when the latter concluded his first 
parliamentary effort with that historic declara- 
tion — 

/ would certainly gladly hear a cheer, even 
though it came from a political opponent. I 
am not at all surprised at the reception I have 
received. I have begun several times many 
things, and I have often succeeded at last. 
I shall sit down now, but the time ivill come 
when you will hear me. 



Further, had the Rev. Thomas Spencer been a 
black and white artist instead of merely a 
" celebrated boy-preacher " what columns of 
copy might not the Book-Stall of his time have 
been provided with, based on the simple fact 
that he twisted worsted every day, mentally com- 
posing sermons all the while ! Then it is recorded 
of William Shaw Lindsay, who seems to have 
been at one and the same time an author, magis- 
trate, member of Parliament, and millionaire, 
that " his food was the bread of charity, thrown 
to him by those moved by the depth of misery 
exhibited in his woe-begone appearance," while 
the biographer of Benjamin Franklin was equally 
fortunate in having for a victim one whose early 
life was a struggle with poverty, obscurity, 
difficulties, and hardships. But I might, did the 
Editor pay by the yard, or even at all, fill pages 
with examples of the early struggles of great 
men, for the " early struggle " is almost as sure 
a forerunner to Fame as the traditional half- 
crown. Who, for instance, ever heard of a man 
who had distinguished himself after having come 
to London with, say, three and sevenpence in his 
pocket ? Similarly what self-respecting individual 
would ever dream of aspiring to become even a 
Bailie without first doing a preliminary spar with 
Adversity ? Celebrities as a rule have feelings. 
They realise intuitively that they are bound to 
become famous, and that some day some poor 
devil like myself will have to turn out a few 
columns of copy about them. Therefore they try 
and make their career interesting ; they do some- 
thing heroic ere they have got out of petticoats 
if only to enable the future historian to remark 
that the child was father to the man. 

I knew all this when I tapped gently on Mr. 
Max Cowper's door, and after the usual formal- 



Brown's Book-Stall. 



405 



ities seated myself comfortably in his snug little 
Studio out at Finchley. Further, I meant to trade 
on my knowledge. 

" Now, Mr. Cowper," I said in my most 
fascinating- manner, "just draw me a mental 
picture of the vicissitudes through which you 
have passed, the trials you have undergone, and 
the noble resolutions you have formed that you 
would forgive your enemies, the Editors, for their 
inhuman conduct, as you hoped to be forgiven 
for the many swear-words you had used when a 
double knock announced the return of still another 
rejected masterpiece? Tell me about these," 
I continued, "for I would fain show the millions 
of readers of the Book-Stall that an artist's 
career, though a glorious one, requires the most 
indomitable perseverance, the most dauntless 

energy, the most awful and tremendous " 

Mr. Max Cowper smiled. 

" My dear sir," he replied, " I am sorry to 
disappoint you in the noble purpose you have in 
view, but as a matter of fact I have no romantic 
story of disappointment and starvation to relate, 
no heroic deeds of self-denial for the sake of Art, 
no hard struggles for interviews with Editors, 
and no sudden plunge into prosperity. ' 

I felt much as Caesar must have done when he 
remarked with classic simplicity Et tu Brute, for 
I had travelled first-class from Hackney Downs 
and waited twenty minutes at Dalston. 

But Mr. Cowper in his strength was merciful, 
and, in addition to the splendid specimen of his 
brush-work in the shape of a study of a head, and 
the portrait of himself, specially drawn for our 
pages, was good enough to give me many 
interesting facts regarding his exceptionally and 
deservedly successful career. 

Mr. Max Cowper is the exception which proves 
the rule that all the good people of Dundee are 
divided into two classes — those who are interested 
in jute, and those who find fame in marmalade. 
He has added a new industry to the staple ones 
of the "Scottish Geneva," for Mr. Cowper is an 
artist with a big and still growing reputation. 
There are four outstanding events in the history 
of the city where the sacking and the bagging 
and the wrapping of the world is manufactured. 
In 1296 the town was burned by the first Edward, 
in 1645 it was stormed by the great Montrose, in 
1651 General Monk, appropriately enough, sacked 



it, and in 1872 Mr. Max Cowper became its 
youngest citizen. Among his earliest recollec- 
tions are sad memories of his schooldays, which 
he pathetically describes as the most miserable 
time he has experienced during his stay on earth. 
Whether this aiose from a natural and readily 
understandable detestation of lessons, or whether 



X 





From a drawing by himself. 




repeated thrashings for exercising his embryonic 
taste for Art at the expense of the masters in the 
production of caricatures of these worthies is 
responsible for this, he confesses he is unable to 
say, but he has a distinct recollection that two 
or three times every week he did his utmost to 
persuade his parents to let him stay at home and 



406 



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407 



draw. His father, and the circumstance is not 
remarkable, gave a point blank refusal, but his 
mother, kindly hearted soul, had all a mother's 
love for her laddie, and often allowed him to 
remain. She thoroughly understood his disposi- 
tion and liking for Art, and it is to her more than 
to any one that Mr. Cowper is indebted for 
encouragement to persevere during the time he 
was under his parents' supervision. 

On leaving school Max was persuaded to take 
up jute, and he did it, only to lay it 
down again as promptly as possible. He entered 
the employment of the firm of Alexr. Patterson & 
Coy., and finding the work there a little more 
congenial than his school experiences, made verv 
praiseworthy progress in his profession. But the 
old Adam was still within him, and his love for 
Art not only did not diminish, but increased every 
day. By dint of desperately hard work he man- 
aged for a time to serve both Art and Mammon, 
the latter at the Office from 6 a.m. to 

6 p.m., and the former at the School of Art from 

7 p.m. until 10 p.m., on five days out of the seven. 
While attending the Drawing Classes he studied 
for his Art Master's certificate, but somehow or 
other the hard and fast methods of doing work 
for South Kensington palled on his feelings, and 
he did not enter with enthusiasm into the examina- 
tions. He could hardly help being successful, 
however, and holds certificates galore which he 
solemnly assured me were absolutely useless ! 

" In fact," Mr. Cowper remarked, " I'm rather 
inclined to think that a lot of my time was wasted 
in studying science and sitting out 'exams.' 
However, I found great pleasure in drawing the 
many antique figures and other pieces of Sculp- 
ture, and I believe this was the only good I ever 
derived from the Dundee Avt Schools. But, 
pray note," he continued as I proceeded to record 
these sentiments, and it dawned on him that the 
Book-Stall might be read in Dundee as in other 
distant places of the earth, ''When I make this 
statement I don't wish to cast any insinuation 
on my teachers. Far from it — for I found most 
of them clever fellows, and thoroughly able to 
impart their knowledge of South Kensington Art, 
but, as you can easily understand, this was quite 
a different form of it from the free and easy paths 
of the painter." 



This state of things went on during the three 
years of Mr. Cowper' s apprenticeship, but, mean- 
while, he had not been idle. In the Christmas 
Numbers of the People's Journal of 1888 and 
and 1889, in the lists of prize winners in two 
drawing competitions (which, by a curious freak, 
also contain the name of the writer hereof), there 
appears as winner of a second and a first prize 
the name of Mr. Maxwell Cowper, 143 Victoria 
Road, Dundee, and it is to this circumstance in a 
large degree that he owes his start on an artistic 
career. The remarkable quality of his work in 
the Journal arrested the attention of the 
prorietors, and resulted in his getting com- 
missions to do work for the Advertiser and other 
local publications, including the famous Piper, so 
that in a short time he was making double the 
money by his drawing that he earned as a clerk. 
The net result of this was that he told Mr. 
Patterson that he had decided to quit his btisiness 
and jute for ever. 

" He called me into his room," explained Mr. 
Cowper, " and, after duly warning me of the 
foolish step I was taking, much to my surprise 
offered me the position of Cashier, which meant 
three pounds a week to begin with. This some- 
what staggered me, for I was only nineteen, and 
a hundred and sixty a year was not to be lightly 
talked about So I got a day or two to think the 
matter over, but although the bait was tempting, 
I finally decided to resign this rich prospect of 
preferment and embark on the precarious career 
of an artist. I said good-bye to Mr. Patterson, 
who had striven so nobly to save me from destruc- 
tion, and as I did so a sorrowful and sympathetic 
expression came over his countenance. Doubt- 
less when I had closed his door behind me he 
whistled, if he knew it, the air of the old refrain, 
' Here is another good man gone wrong ! ' ' 

" Free from his fetters grim," Mr. Cowper 
began by taking a studio, and ere you could well 
say " Jeck Robinson, ' or the Dundee equivalent 
therefor, work began to come in. At this time 
he was doing practically all the pictures for the 
Dundee Courier and Weekly News, which were 
then just beginning to go in for pictorial art. 
During the remainder of his stay in Dundee he 
had a very varied experience of newspaper work, 
drawing everything and going everywhere. 



4 oS 



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409 




STUDY OF A HEAD. 

Specially drawn by Mr. Max Cowper for " Brozvti's Book-Stall.' 



4io 



Brown's Book-Stall. 



" I remember/ 1 answered Mr. Cowper in reply 
to my request for an experience, " having- a 
rather funny adventure while sketching in the 
Edinburgh Court of Justiciary, during the trial 
of Webster, proprietor of a Kerriemuir hotel, who 
was charged with poisoning his wife with arsenic. 
There was intense excitement in Dundee 
and neighbourhood, for he was well known, 
and had held for a number of years a respec- 
table position in the Dundee theatre. 
Two reporters and myself were com- 
missioned to take up our stay in Edinburgh, 
and do our little best. As bad luck would 
have it, the seats allocated to the artists 
were in the gallery, where we couldn't 
see anything or anybody. Here was a 
How-de-ye-do ! However, an artist is 
nothing if not resourceful, so I got hold 
of the chief reporter and borrowed his card 
and a bundle of shorthand notepaper, with 
which insignia of office I easily gained 
a seat at the reporters' table. The Court 
was simply packed, but as I had second 
seat from the front, I had an excellent view. 
I duly did my drawings, and having to 
leave early so that they might be sent off 
to Dundee in time for reproduction in 
next morning's paper, I rose up and began 
to bustle my way out ; but I soon found 
this would be an extremely difficult task, 
for the trial was going on and everybody 
was either listening or working. I could 
not get folks to rise and let me pass, and 
things were looking very blue indeed. 
In short, as somebody says in Richard II., 

It was as hard to go as for a camel 

To thread the postern of a needle's eye. 

You can picture me," continued Mr. 
Cowper, smiling at the recollection, "stuck 
in the middle of that Court with my parcel 
of sketches, unable to move one way or 
another, and the Editor in Dundee anxiously 
awaiting the arrival of the pictures. There 
was no help for it ; so, with a sort of an 
' Excelsior ' feeling I proceeded to climb over 
the seats, the barristers, the audience — in fact 
over any and every obstacle that kept me 
from the door. It was not a particularly dignified 
proceeding, but I couldn't help that — the 
drawings had to be got to Dundee, and it was 



my duty to send them. Well, after many subdued 
maledictions on my infernal impudence, and a 
like number of looks that ought to have withered 
me, I succeeded, but not before Judge Kingsbury 
had stopped proceedings, and warned me that 
the commotion must not be repeated. Next day, 
however, / repeated, and went through the same 
acrobatic performance The Judge, I could see, 
had his eye on me, but surely," added Mr Cowper 



'^ 




WAVED HER GRACEFUL AND SUPPLE ARMS. 

Front " C asserts Magazine." 
By permission of Messrs. Casselt &" Co., Ltd. 

with a twinkle, "his digestive organs must have 
been in better working order, for he remained 
calm and solemn, and what looked as if it was 
going to prove a nasty experience for me, passed 
over without further trouble. But that is only one 
of the many strange positions in which I have 
found myself when playing the part of journalistic 
artist, but it only wants nerve to pull one through." 
In addition to his black and white work Mr. 



Brown's Book-Stall 



411 



Cowper had also begun to paint, and was very 
successful in having- his water-colours hung - in 
the Scottish R.A. This inspired him to go in for 
more serious study, so he submitted work to the 
Academy for his studentship, which he obtained, 
and forthwith proceeded to take up his residence 
in Edinburgh, where he spent a couple of years. 

" My student days were rather uneventful," Mr. 
Cowper explained, in answer to my demand for 
further particulars, " and the Life School was 
chiefly notable for the lack of enthusiasm 
displayed by the students. However, the training 
was very thorough— nothing of the dilettante 
about it, but good, honest, hard work, by which I 
benefited greatly." 

If further testimony of the thoroughness of the 
training received at the School of the Scottish 
Capital be needed, it will be found in the success 
which its students have obtained. For chic, 
impudent, captivating work, at which, by the way, 
Mr. Cowper is also an adept, as the dainty 
drawing which I reproduce by kind permission 
of Messrs. Cassell & Coy., from the pages of their 
delightfully illustrated Magazine (undoubtedly 
the magazine which has the most extensive list of 
notable artists on its staff, for nearly everybody 
who is anybody in the black and white world has 
at one time or another contributed to its pages) 
will bear witness, the Parisian atelier is famous. 
For a certain kind of average proficiency, as Mr. 
Charles G. Harper, the well-known and able art- 
critic, artist, and author of an invaluable treatise 
on black and white art, " Pen Draughtsmen 
of To-Day/' published in sumptuous style by 
Messrs. Rivington, Percival & Coy., cleverly 
expressed it in an interview with Mr. Cowper, the 
London Schools are noteworthy, but for down- 
right thoroughness of work there is nothing to 
beat the Scottish Schools. 

By this time Mr. Cowper was getting a hold of 
London, and Editors were beginning to send 
commissions, so he decided to drop painting 
altogether, and devote his genius entirely to black 
and white. With what signal success he has done 
so is amply borne out by the pages of all our best 
illustrated magazines, for he contributes among 
others to the Pall Mall Magazine, Cassell' s 
Magazine, Strand, Lady's Realm, Harmsworths' , 
and that Ultima Thule of the black and white 
man, Punch, The next step was to go to London, 



and there he settled for better or worse in 1895. 
But good work is never at a loss for a market, 
and Mr. Cowper's geatest difficulty has been, not 
to get Editors to take his drawings, but to supply 
the work in time. At the moment when I had 
the audacity to insist on him varying his occupa- 
tion by standing in the pillory, he had a couple of 
months' work in hand, and not a single drawing 
in his possession which had not been sold ! His 
kindness, therefore, in doing specially for the 
Book-Stall the drawings which I reproduce is all 
the more deserving of our thanks. 

" I often wish I had four hands instead of two," 
he remarked with a sigh, " but I have always 
found the London editor on the whole an amiable 
individual, though, of course, there are one or two 
rather fussy and severe. I have no fear for an 
artist if he does good work — the Editors will soon 
find him out. But," he continued, " there are 
hundreds of artists who trudge round the various 
journals day after day in the hope of selling some 
of their work. This is, in my humble opinion, a 
most foolish thing to do, for the chances are 
strongly against their seeing the editor person- 
ally — their drawings being taken inside by the 
office-boy. The Editor very likely may be busy — 
most Editors are — and not in a mood for careful 
examination, so your work does not get justice. 
You waste time, try the temper of the Editor, 
and tire yourself out all for nothing. A far more 
sensible plan is to submit your drawings through 
the post. The Editor will then select a time most 
convenient for himself to inspect your work, 
which is thus viewed under the most favourable 
conditions." 

Mr. Max Cowper is not yet thirty, but he has 
won for himself a high and a right well earned 
position among the black and white artists of the 
day. He is a thoroughly conscientious artist — 
too conscientious some might be inclined to think 
— is ambitious, and, gifted with a grace and charm 
in his work peculiarly his own, he is bound to 
do great things yet. He is a desperately hard- 
worker, and not at all inclined to rest on his 
laurels, or likely to forget that, as Ulysses 
remarks in Troilus and Cressida — 

Perseverance, dear my lord, 

Keeps honour bright ; to have done is to hang 

Quite out of fashion, like a rusty mail 

In monumental mockery. 

J. G. R. 



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MORE MEMORIES. 



EHS 


mmsm 


"v^^K M^l^M| I 



pupils, was yet one 
and kindly of men. 



HAVE some pleasant 
memories of Elgin 
and its Academy. 
One of my teachers 
was the Rev. P. Mer- 
son, a man of con- 
siderable skill as a 
mathematician and 
arithmetician, who, 
although at times he 
could give a good 
thrashing to offending 
of the most agreeable 
As a teacher he was 
very successful, and drew out the mental 
powers and original capabilities of his pupils 
with a pawkiness and a play of good humour 
which I have never seen in any other teacher. 
If the question was puzzling and difficult to 
work out, he was ready, when asked, to assist, 
but he would first enquire how you pro- 
ceeded ; having this made known, he would 
then say, " Give me your reason," which, if 
not correct, he looked somewhat grave, and, 
with a merry twinkle in his eye, would 
remark — " Weel, weel, every ane till's ain 
mind, as the man said when he kissed his 
coo ! Now I would rather do so and so," and 
gave the information so clearly and intel- 
ligently that his pupil was informed, and that 
too in such a way as he did not forget it. 

If one of the scholars had dawdled over 
his sum, he would enquire if he was done, 



and, if answered in the affirmative, remarked, 
" Aiberdeen and time till't, as the wife 
said when she cam' to the Loch o' 
Skene." I do not suppose that many of his 
pupils are now alive, but those who are, will, 
I am sure, have kindly remembrances of 
their old teacher, to whom they were much 
attached and who affectionately spoke of him 
to each other as " Old Peter." 

An old maritime friend of mine, after 
eating a good dinner, which his wife prepared, 
seated himself for a rest, and putting in 
his mouth a large quid of tobacco, which was 
always there but when eating, he expressed 
himself thus—" Well, thank God for that 
small chick, mudder (mother^, many a one 
would have made a meal of it." This 
minimising of his good dinner invariably 
caused a few minutes' violent storming 
from his better half, who did not like, 
nor could she appreciate, such joking. 
On one occasion many years ago I was 
travelling by the Great North of Scotland 
Railway. At Kittybrewster Station the 
tickets were collected. On the inspector 
coming to the compartment in which I was 
seated, at the other corner a tall girl of 
probably 18 or 20 years of age held out to 
the collector a half-ticket. He had some 
humour in him, and gave evidence of it by 
first looking very seriously at the half-ticket and 
then from it to the young lady, and express- 
ing himself with measured slowness and gazing 
with a look of surprise in her face, said, " You 
— don't— mean — it?" causing a hearty laugh 
which the girl did not enjoy, and although 
she paid no excess it was probably the last 



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415 



time she travelled as a juvenile at half-price. 
A congregation in Orkney once got a very 
great surprise. As the minister was going on 
with his sermon, a man in the front gallery, 
who appeared to be soundly asleep, bawled 
out at the top of his voice, imploringly, " Oh, 
Jean, will you no take me ? " and suddenly 
awakening he looked most confused and 
bewildered, while rather more than a ripple 
of laughter passed over the congregation. 
The Jean to whom he appealed so imploringly 
had more than once declined his addresses, 
and was very much annoyed by the sleeper's 
appeal. As the circumstances were well 
known, and she sat not very far from her 
dreaming lover, the poor man was so ashamed 
of his appearance that he never went to that 
church again. The son of a well-known 
clergyman in the City, a doctor, was visiting 
an old lady, a friend of the family. As he 
was leaving, after a very pleasant conversation, 
the lady requested him to engage in prayer 
before he went. " Please excuse me," the 
doctor said ; "I am not my father," and hurried 
off as quickly as possible. 

At a social meeting in a country school, 
which was so crowded that the ventilation 
was most deficient and the effect most un- 
comfortable, I observed a youth perspiring 
greatly, with a face red and apparently 
bursting, waving his hands very excitedly as 
he stood on a desk and bawled out at the 
top of his voice, to the amusement of the 
audience — " Mair win', mair win'." I confess 
I sympathised very deeply in his desire to 
have purer and better air. I admire the 
answer a man I knew gave to his 
mother, an old woman whom he was 
visiting, and who was noted for her rough 
language. He was searching in the press, 
and enquired, " Mither, whaur s the jelly ? " 
To which she tartly replied, " In hell ! " 
" Mither," said the son, " if ye dinna men' 
yere menners ye'll seen be there yersel," which 
he regarded as a very excellent and dutiful 
advice, and not lacking in piety. 

A couple of office-bearers in one of our 
churches went on a collecting tour to provide 
funds for the liquidation of the debt. An 
old man who was very wealthy, and from 
whom they expected much, told them that 



he would not give them anything now, but 
he had arranged that when he died the cause 
would not be forgotten. They were both 
somewhat disappointed, but the one on 
going down the stair, looking at the other, 
said, " Cut the beggar's throat." Certainly a 
means by which the object in which he was 
interested might have been speedily attained, 
but not very creditable to the forbearance 
and love which his Christian profession 
required. 

Near the close of the poll at a Parliament- 
ary election in Banffshire, in 1893, there 
was a considerable crowd talking over 
the probable results. Two farmers were 
staggering about very much under the 
influence of liquor. A member of the con- 
gregation of which these worthies were elders 
said to a neighbour in a very solemn and sad 
tone, " Aye, aye, the auld kirk maun come 
doon." " What wye dye think that ? " said 
his friend. " See," he answered, pointing to 
the elders, " hoo the pillars are totterin'." 

A most amusing incident occurred when 
a deformed man of very diminutive size 
was lying in the gutter surrounded by a 
number of men, women, and boys. A tall, 
big-boned porter went to give him a lift, 
asking at the same time who he was. The 
good friend who was to help him said to the 
interested crowd, " He tells me he belongs 
to the Royal Artillery," which was received 
with shouts of laughter. It was found after, 
that the poor body was misunderstood. 
His speaking, in the circumstances, was most 
indistinct, as he attempted to explain he 
was the " Rora Tylerie " (a tailor), belonging 
to Rora, in Aberdeenshire. 

The annoyance from drinking is rather 
amusingly brought out in the following — A 
confidential clerk in the office of a leading 
firm of advocates in the city was in the habit 
of tippling occasionally, and using expedients 
to destroy the smell. On one occasion he 
had to appear to transact some business with 
one of the principals whose clerk he 
was. Giving him his instructions, he 
paused, and with a shake of his leonine 
head, he jerked off his eye-glasses, and look- 
ing the clerk full in the face with these great, 
bright, piercing eyes which looked one through 



416 



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417 



he said — " Now, Buckie, look here, I can 
stan' clowes, I can stan' ginger, I can stan' 
peppermint, but I'm hanged if I stan' ingins " 
(onions). No doubt he used a stronger 
adjective, for on occasion his vocabulary in 
this respect was very copious, and as versatile 
as it was forcible. In a leading thorough- 
fare in the city a shop during the forenoon 
had the shutters still on, and as people passed 
they went away smiling, having read a legible 
and distinctly written placard which was 
pasted up — 

Nae de'ed, nor yet broken, 

But on the spree an' canna open, 

which, unfortunately, expressed the truth. 

A public function is often a great trial to 
those who have to take part in the proceed- 
ings. At a Convener's dinner in Trinity 
Hall I was sitting opposite a gentleman who, 
as the dinner was served, betrayed consider- 
able uneasiness. There was on his part a 
decided objection to engage in conversation. 
When the covers were removed and the 
toasting began he became even more taciturn 
and nervous. I observed him taking a 
paper frequently from his waistcoat pocket, 
giving it a hasty glance, and then returning 
it. By and by the cause of his uneasiness 
was explained, for he stood up at the call of 

the chairman and said — " Convener 

Master of Hospital and gentlemen 

The toast which I have to propose 

is the Mercantile interests — --," 

laying special emphasis on the second syll- 
able and dropping into his seat before he 
had uttered the last word. There was 
silence for a few seconds, and when it was 
seen that the speaker had finished there was 
a titter from several which was speedily 
silenced by the applause of the assembly. 
Poor fellow ! the beads of perspiration were on 
his brow, his big burly frame shook as he 
attempted to speak, and he seemed oblivious 
to all about him. To him it was a trying 
ordeal, he was evidently the wrong man in 
the right place. 

I was rather surprised one afternoon on 
coming along Union Street to see a small 
gathering looking through the railings at the 
stair leading to the Green. I took a passing 



look, and half-way down I saw helpless and 
incapable a man, in whom I had been for 
sometime interested in endeavouring to break 
off his drinking habit. He was or had been 
in holy orders in the Church of England, and 
was well known for his musical ability. 
While standing, a gentleman who was in 
" The Trade " tapped me on the shoulder 
and said— pointing to the miserable figure 
sprawling about— " That is one of your 
folks." I immediately retorted — " I beg 
your pardon, he has left me, and is now one of 
your friends, so you had better go down and 
help him." The late Rev. Dr. Longmuir 
used to say in regard to this habit of which 
the educated and professional gentleman to 
whom I have alluded was the victim — 

What are the people doing — drinkin' ! 
What are churches doing — winkin' ! 

A. S. C. 




Many of our friends and customers will have 
learned with regret of the death, at the beginning 
of last month, of Mr. Charles Moir. Associated 
as he had been with Brown's Book Stall for over 
half-a-century, our oldest customers could 
scarcely remember a time when the Book-Stall 
was without him. while his quiet and unassuming 
yet frank manner made him liked and respected 
by them all. His death severs one of the few 
remaining links which connect the present 
generation of booksellers with those of the first 
half of the century. 



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419 




No. 24.-MR. CHARLES HARRISON. 




HE " contrari-ness of some 
people is simply amazing-. 
They cannot be orthodox or 
conventional, or follow the 
footsteps of their pre- 
decessors and be content 
with the " sphere of in 
fluence"in which Fortune 
has placed them. They 
have original ideas, and they sigh for the " open 
door" so that they may ventilate them. There 
is, of course, the well authenticated case of the 
horticulturally inclined young lady whose memory 
has been perpetuated in the well known rhyme — 

Mary, Mary, 

Quite contrary, 

How does your garden groiv ? 

Silver bells 

And cockle shells, 

And pretty maids all of a row. 

The precise reason of Mary's " thraw-ness," the 
observant hill-note, is not stated with any degree 
of certainty. It may have been that the silver 
bells had been cast in Belgium and partook too 
much of the peculiarities of their brothers of St. 
Nicholas to suit Mary's trained ear, or perhaps the 
pretty maids were too aggressively charming to 
suit Mary's possibly plain figure. It may even have 
been Destiny — represented by what Mr. Gilbert 
would call the exigence of Rhyme. That is to 
say, a young lady whose Christian name was 
Mary, and whom Fate had selected to figure as 
the subject of a Nursery Rhyme, owed a certain 



duty to her biographer. The limitations of the 
English language are at no time more painfully 
evident than when the poet is in search of rhymes 
for Mary. "Contrary" is one of the few that 
will pass — ergo if Mary's biographer was to be 
consistent with facts, he had either to find 
another subject for his verse with a name that 
could more easily be dealt with, or incur the risk 
of an action for slander at the instance of some 
of Mary's more needy relatives. That Mary 
realised this, and, so to speak, lived up to the 
situation is, of course, only surmise, but, very 
respectfully, I put it forward as a probable solu- 
tion of one of the most fascinating problems of 
Nursery History. 

These mature reflections on the "contrari-ness" 
of folks in general and Mary-of-the-Rhyme in 
particular, are primarily occasioned by certain 
incidents in the career of one, Mr. Charles 
Harrison, of Shepherd's Bush, London, N.W. 
He has been "contrary" ever since he can 
remember. Shortly after his birth, which took 
place in the early sixties, though you wouldn't 
think it to see him, this spirit manifested itself 
within him. If he had been content to follow pre- 
cedent, he would have been an actor, or at least 
connected with the stage, as his family had been 
for generations before he came upon the scene. 
But at a painfully early age he developed a taste 
for the black art of picture production, and has 
remained more or less loyal to his first love ever 
since. Even in this, however, he could not tread 
the beaten paths which Landseer, and Constable, 
and Turner, and one or two others of more or less 
consequence, had been content to follow before 
him. He had ideas about anatomy which Quain 



420 



Brown's Book-Stall. 




MR. CHARLES HARRISON AND THE INTERVIEWER 
(From the Elgin Marbles). 



Specially drawn for " Browrts Book-Stall" by Mr. Charles Harrison. 



Brown's Book- Stall. 



421 



had not hitherto endorsed, as the following- repre- 
sentation of a male party, drawn by him at an 
immature period of his career, will bear witness. 




"Portrait of a Gentleman.'' 

BY CHARLES HARRISON aetat 2. 

Nor were his ideas on Architecture any more in 
accordance with those the Master Builders of the 
past had formed. The Parthenon found no favour 
in his eyes, nor did the Doric. Ionic, Byzantine, 
Early Norman, Renaissance, or any other Schools 
meet with his approval. The ways of MacVicar 
Anderson were not the ways of Harrison, so he 
designed on a plan of his own, and founded a 
.School of which, until the advent of Ibsen and the 
Doll's House, he was the only representative. 
The very rare and, it must be admitted, unique 
design for a Modern Villa Residence, with hot 
and cold water circulation, which we are able to 
reproduce, will serve to show that had Mr. Har- 
rison been content to follow out the career of 
the architect, it might have led to a complete 
revolution in the designing, alike of such widely 
divergent buildings as the new Natural History 




Design for a House." 

ry charles HARRISON, aetat 2%, 



Museum, at South Kensington, or our own equally 
new (and almost equally accessible) Fire Brigade 
Station, so conveniently situated for the West end 
resident at the extreme east end of the town. 

Even to this day the spirit of " contrariness " 
is strong in Mr. Harrison. He lives, as I have 
said, at Shepherd's Bush, not far from the scene 
where, of old, Tyburn Tree used to stand in the 
days when they had less cultured, though hardly 
less drastic, methods of dealing with celebrities 
than merely extolling their virtues in the Book- 
Stall of the time. But Shepherd's Bush has 
little now in common with Tyburnia, and smacks 
only in name of the gay gentleman of the road 
after whom it is called. It is a highly respectable 
neighbourhood, and, according to the infallible 
Guide Book, the residence of the leisured classes. 
I need only say that when I tackled Mr. Harrison 
for the purpose of this interview, he had a working 
day of eleven hours, which is hardly in accor- 
dance with his surroundings. 

As a slight concession to the memory of his 
forefathers, Mr. Harrison, when not producing 
masterpieces of art, and, while still a very little 
boy, used to play small parts in a theatre, ranging 
in importance from that of a Pantomine Imp to 
one of the Artful Dodger's friends in Oliver Twist 
— the Artful Dodger himself being impersonated 
by that prince of good players and comedians, 
Mr. J. L. Toole. Of these histrionic efforts, Mr. 
Harrison has many interesting recollections, 
and by a happy and judicious combination of 
persuasion and threatening, I succeeded In ex- 
tracting a few of them. 

"The first Pantomine I played in," he began, 
when our briars were lit and the Arcadian 
Mixture burning merrily, " had the alluring and 
alliterative title of Tell Tale Tit, and one of the 
features of the production was a Farm-yard 
Scene, with real poultry. It was the dawn of the 
craze for realism on the stage, and this was a 
noble, if somewhat mis-directed, effort on the part 
of our Manager to electrify his audiences. Well, 
the poultry used to be brought down to the 
theatre in baskets and, before the scene was 
disclosed, set free on the stage. But the birds 
were but indifferent players, and, moreover, very 
astute. They refused to believe for one moment 
that the theatrical farm-yard was at all real, so 
they used to take to their ' wings ' and, appropri- 



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Price X/- or mounted on cloth, 2/- 



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Brown's Book-Stall. 



423 



ately enough — though, of course, you wont 
attribute the joke to me ' 

" Certainly not," I assured him. 

" Make for the 'flies ' with a rush that might 
have been magnificent, but was certainly not 
dignified, or in keeping with the part they had to 
play. A body of scene-shifters were ready for 
them, however, and they were rallied back into 
action, only to charge once more with the velocity 
of a Bedouin Arab on his native sand, or your 
famous Fire Brigade flying " 

" I beg your pardon," I said, " but the simile is 
unfortunate. A love of dumb animals has been 
taught us in the North from earliest infancy, and 
the ' Sunbeam Club for Girls and Boys ' (a 
feature of one of our leading weeklies) has done 
much to help on the good work. ' A merciful man,' 
you know, Mr. Harrison." I continued, "'is 
merciful to his beast,' and I would like to disabuse 
your mind of any notions you may have erron- 
uously formed as to furious driving on the part of 
the Aberdeen Fire Brigade." 

Mr. Harrison thanked me warmly for the 
correction, and availed himself of the occasion 
to state how pleased he was to learn that no 
mistaken idea of undue haste in saving mere 
inanimate goods should stand in the way of a 
humane and rational treatment of that noble 
animal, the horse. Reciprocating cordially these 
admirable sentiments, I begged him to go on 
with the story. 

"Well," he resumed, "when the chickens and 
' supers ' had become jointly exhausted, the scene 
was allowed to proceed, the birds meanwhile 
recovering their wind preparatory to a fresh 
effort when the ' drop ' descended. Then it was 
that the real trouble began. The poultry had to 
be caught and put back into the basket, and any 
one who knows anything of the bustle and merri- 
ment of a Pantomine behind the scenes may 
perhaps realise that this required some doing, and 
at times the confusion was appalling. Now and 
again a hapless fowl, driven to desperation, 
would scamper across the front scene, which was 
a ' Fairy Bower of Bliss,' and altogether uncon- 
nected with poultry." 

Of the plays and the players of those days Mr. 
Harrison had also many interesting memories. 
In the Pantomine already referred to, the chief 
character was played by Brittain Wright, a 



comedian with a distinct style of his own — broad, 
unctuous, but very funny. He was an immense 
favourite at East-end threatres, and was 
eventually secured by Chatterton and Webster 
for Drury Lane and the Adelphi. I have already 
referred to Mr. Harrison having played a small 
boy's part in Oliver Tavist. The caste on that 
occasion was a very remarkable one, and never 
likely to be seen in combination again. The 
principal parts were — 

Bill Sykes, Mr. Henry Irving. 

The Artful Dodger, Mr. J. L. Toole. 

Policeman, Mr. Lionel B rough. 









Mr Charles Harrison. 

From a photo by Alfred Ellis. 

Shortly after this Mr. Harrison took part in a 
dramatised version of Notre Dame, which he 
remembers chiefly on account of a very fine 
rugged performance of the part of Quasimodo, 
(he Hunchback, by T. C. King, a well known 
provincial tragedian. In the caste were included 
Mr. Arthur Williams, who has of late scored so 



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425 



many successes in burlesque, and Mr. Frank 
Tyars, whose name will always be associated 
with some of Sir Henry Irvine's most brilliant 
productions. 

In the early seventies there was a great run 
on dramatised versions of the novels of Dickens, 
of which "Little Em'ly " by Andrew Halliday 
was perhaps the most successful. In this pro- 
duction the part of Daniel Peggotty was played 
by Sam Emery, a very popular actor of his day, 
and father of Miss Winifred Emery, one of the 
greatest favourites of ours, while Mr. Micawber 
was played by S. F. Rowe, who made a great 
success with the part. 

" Personally," Mr. Harrison added, with 
characteristic modesty, " my small contribution 
to the production of Dickens' works on the stage 
was confined to a representation of one of the 
members of Mr. Micawber's extensive family 
with a speaking part of about one line. I recollect 
about this time, too," he continued, " the sensa- 
tion aroused by the production of Offenbach's 
Grand Duchess, which was given by a particularly 
brilliant caste including Miss Julia Matthew, the 
Payne Family, Ainsley Cooke, and J. D. Stoyle, 
the last a very dry comedian with a squeaky voice 
and a ' finnicing, ' mimicking style that was very 
funny." 

As he grew older, however, Mr. Harrison laid 
down the sock and buskin of the stage for the 
tall hat and umbrella of the city clerk. For a 
few years he followed a commercial career, but 
once again, as he approached man's estate, he 
returned to the footlights, and joined Mr. John 
Douglass's company then performing at the 
Standard. He found the training and experience 
here obtained of the very greatest value to him, 
and he subsequently took part in many produc- 
tions under the same management, including a 
dramatised version of one of " Ouida's " novels 
entitled " Delilah," given at the Olympic. 

Then Mr. Harrison starred in the provinces. 
" Well do I remember," he remarked in recalling 
this tour, " my astonishment on arriving on Mon- 
day morning in the town where the company was 
to be for the week, well primed up in my part of 
Chateau Renand in The Corsican Brothers, to find 
that this play was to be given for the one night 
only. The Streets of London was billed for 



Tuesday, on Wednesday we gave Macbeth, 
Thursday saw a relapse into light comedy, and 
so on. This simply meant rehearsing all the day, 
playingall the evening, and studying all the night. 
This was hardly good enough, so at the termina- 
tion of the engagement I practically severed my 
connection with the stage." 

All the time, as occasion arose, Mr. Harrison 
had been exercising the undoubted skill as a 
draughtsman which he possessed, but it was not 
until a comparatively late period of his life that 
he finally determined on taking up the Black and 
White Art as a profession. But his provincial 
stage experiences settled it, so feeling that he 
could not possibly have to work harder for less 
remuneration, he decided on putting his drawing 
powers to practical use. Until he secured a 
footing, the struggle was for a time a pretty 
hard one, but Mr. Harrison was not to be lightly 
daunted, and he tried his pencil at pretty nearly 
everything in the way of drawing, from illustra- 
tions for juvenile magazines to sketches for 
theatrical papers — a tolerably extensive range. 

But his value as a comic draughtsman of a 
most original and clever type was not destined to 
remain long undiscovered. In 1885 he came 
under the notice of Mr. James Henderson, that 
right good friend of many a struggling artist, and 
he, readily recognising Mr. Harrison's abilities, 
invited him to contribute to " Funny Folks," and 
the connection with Red Lion House thus begun 
has been maintained to this day. Then Messrs. 
Cassell & Coy. availed themselves of his services 
as a draughtsman for their publications, his 
"Master Charlie" Sketches in the pages of 
" Little Folks " proving a great success. But it 
is in the pages of the Saturday Journal that much 
of Mr. Harrison's cleverist work has appeared, 
and while giving the artist due credit for his 
skill, it must also be borne in mind that he is also 
the inventor of all his own pictures and jokes. 

In 1895 Mr. Punch extended the right hand of 
good fellowship to him. With the opening up of 
the pages of that paper for the inclusion of fresh 
talent, Mr. Harrison's claims could not well have 
been overlooked, and Mr. Burnand need never 
regret the day on which his first artistic contribu- 
tion lent new vivacity to "our only comic." 
Since then Mr. Harrison has been a frequent and 



426 



Brown's Book-Stall. 



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OPINIONS OF THE PRESS. 

The Academy says : — Has a certain directness 
and melody. There are verses, too, from which you 
may draw your fill of the little ironies of our common 
human destiny. 

The Free Press says : — Mr. Dowman's muse 
ranges impartially from grave to gay, from the senti- 
mental lyric to the topical ditty. His songs have a 
vigorous masculine swing. 



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427 



much valued contributor, his drawings of modern 
events, treated in ancient fashion, being- par- 
ticularly happy and successful. 

Whatever may be said of Mr. Harrison's 
technique there can be no question about his 
ability to produce a really humorous picture. As 
a delineator of a number of amusing - events in a 
series of sketches he stands unrivalled, and he 
possesses to a really remarkable degree the ability 
to give his work just that flavour of exaggeration 
which is necessary to bring out the point of the 
picture without tending, as is so often the case in 
this class of work, to rely entirely on caricature 
to make the drawing amusing. To the courtesy 
and kindness of Mr. Harrison I am indebted for 
the very amusing little conceit representation of 
our interview as it might have taken place a 
couple of thousand years or so ago, which we 
reproduce, and which it is perhaps unnecessary 
to explain, was specially drawn for these pages 

Mr. Harrison is still a young man and will do 
greater things yet. Possessed of a very pretty 
wit and a remarkable facility for humorous 
expression, he is bound to rise to a very high 
position in his profession, and if the prayers of a 
just man availeth much he ought to be successful, 
for he has those of his humble servant, 

J. G. R. 




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Ere weary day her languid lids 
Droops o'er the drowsy wold, 
And banded pearl and sapphire gleam 
Behind a fringe of gold, 
The stealthy night will pause to hear 
The lark's last vesper ring, 
And passing day will linger yet 
To hear the throstle sing. 
But the throstle's mellow flute will cease, 
And the lark will seek her nest in peace 
At dark, 
While we linger, and listen, and long, 
And hark 
For the song, 
For the song of the Nightingale. 

The pearl, and rose, and sapphire fade, 
And shudder into grey ; 
Vague shadows blur the lingering west 
As night dethrones the day. 
In grass and tree a thousand birds 
Will nestle till the dawn, 
Save one sweet queen of melody 
Who sings to-night alone. 
O, will she trill from the willow bough, 
Or will she pipe from the reeds below ? 
In vain 
Will we linger, and listen, and long, 
In pain, 
For the song, 
For the song of the Nightingale. 

Against the stars the poplars stand, 
Tall sentinels and still, 
No sound, save Avon's distant rush, 
Above the sleeping mill. 
The white rose on the thicket's edge 
Night's tawny breast adorns. 
And scented clover blends with may, 
Pale glimmering on the thorns. 
But the white robed roses beauty's lent, 
And the May bloom's odorous breath is spent 

In vain, 
While we linger, and listen, and long, 

In pain, 
For the song, 
For the song of the Nightingale. 

Stratford-on-Avon, DeI'X. 

June, 1899. 



428 



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No. 61. 



December, i 



Price One Penny. 




CASTLEGATE WORTHIES. 

ASTLE STREET and its 
environs in the sixties 
was the home, or har- 
vest-field of the much- 
abused licensed vic- 
tualler. There the 
publican waxed and 
grew fat, throve in the 
amassing of money, and, 
after a season of continued prosperity, retired 
into private life, and the place that knew 
him then, knew him no more for ever ! 
Public-houses were planted as thick as 
potatoes in a field. Outstanding examples 
of the better class of licensed houses were the 
Bursar's Hotel, in Exchequer Row, and the 
Lemon Tree Hotel, in Huxter Row. The 
latter was the Athenaeum Hotel of to-day, 
being much patronised by business men. 
The two principal hotels in Aberdeen then 
were the " Royal " in Union Street, now 
known as the Royal Buildings, and the 
"Douglas" in Market "Street, where it still 
stands. Mr. David Robertson, or " Davie," 
as he was familiarly named, was the proprietor 
of the first-named, and Mr. Thomas Douglas, 
or "Tom" Douglas, the owner of the latter. 
A favourite pastime for the male youth of 
the time was to peep in at the door of the 
" Royal " and take a long lingering look at a 
turtle placed underneath the hall table. It 
was popularly believed by the youngsters 
that this animal was put into the pot daily 



and boiled, the result being turtle soup all 
the year round ! But that and other stories 
should perhaps be left to be told in a future 
number. The Bursar's Hotel in addition to 
making the finest of Scotch broth, also made 
history, but that also is another story. The 
Lemon Tree was tenanted by a Mr. Isaac 
Machray, whom 1 cannot remember to have 
ever seen. Mrs. Machray, however carried 
on the hostelry some years after her husband's 
death, and a typical landlady of the motherly 
old-fashioned school she was. My object, 
however, in introducing the " pubs " here, 
was primarily to give me the opportunity of 
writing about the Castlegate — our Market 
Place, so to speak. Friday has always been 
Market Day in Aberdeen, I am told by the 
oldest inhabitant, a young gentleman border- 
ing on 90, but he pins his faith to the Green 
as the real market. Be that as it may, Castle 
Street has not been an unknown quantity in 
the selling of merchandise of a kind. As a 
fruit and cough drop market it can still hold 
its own, and its friendly walls still shelter 
" Cheap Jack " and " Cure All," not to men- 
tion the galvanic battery man, and the three- 
a-penny, knock-'em-all-down-with-a-cocoanut 
gentleman. 

One of my earliest recollections of Castle- 
gate worthies dates back to a time when 
" Pie Bob," with his little moveable bake- 
house, reigned supreme in the eyes of the 
rising generation. "Bob" was a small 
decrepit old body, who was always dressed in 
clothes two or three sizes too big for his 
diminutive little frame. He wore an ample 
apron that at some period of its, or its 



Brown's Book-Stall. 



owner's life, had been white, and he hall- 
marked himself as a gentleman of the day 
by wearing a "lum" hat," the beaver or silk 
of which had been considerably — perhaps 
considerately — brushed the wrong way. It 
was an awe-inspiring hat, a hat with a history, 
I feel quite sure. His emaciated "crined- 
up " face wore a look of dogged dejection 
somewhat pitiful to see. This old-world 
baker waited with philosophic patience for 
his customers to surround him, with an old 
clay pipe stuck between his toothless gums, 
and his hands plunged deep down in his 
trouser's pockets. I have never yet been 
able to satisfy myself as to how the grumpy old 
chap managed to live on his " profits," for his 
mode of doing business was original, to say the 
least ; and " where he came in " is a problem 
I shall probably never be able to solve. Most 
of his trade was done by tossing. If you 
tossed him for a penny pie and won, which 
in nine times out of ten you did, you got a 
penny pie. If he won the off toss you got a 
smaller pie — one made to sell at a ha'penny. 
But no elation ever marked a win for " Pie 
Bob." His hands immediately sought their 
perpetual resting place in his trousers' pockets, 
an extra pull at his pipe by the withered and 
sunken jaws, and " Bob " stood the same 
martyr-like figure, gazing in a dazed sort of 
way at the smoking " lum " of his portable 
bakery. Sometimes he would admit that 
trade was " brisk," but you never heard him 
complain when the pennies went past his 
pocket. 

It is many years ago since this old land- 
mark was removed, but if all the old boys 
who were wont to toss Pie Bob could be 
gathered together to-day, what a crowd there 
would be in Castle Street ! That he was an 
institution in Aberdeen goes without saying, 
for, in his own life-time, there was never a 
revival of "The Streets of Aberdeen "' at the 
Theatre Royal without its back cloth depicting 
Castle Street, and " Pie Bob " with his cook- 
ing oven. The actors of the day had a 
reverence for the old man, and it was said 
that on the occasions of these revivals he 
was handsomely treated for the loan of his 
"cart," used as an important " prop " when 
the Castlegate scene was on. Alas ! his 



name is now but a memory of the past ! 
His pies may not have been " fired " up to a 
digestible standard, and the scraps of meat 
they contained may have been tiny enough 
in all conscience, but they went down with 
rare unction ; and not one of all the dainty 
dishes provided for the Queen could take 
the place of his famous " wing " concoctions ! 

Blin' Bob was another local worthy who 
frequented the Castlegate, principally on a 
Saturday night, when he promenaded round 
the fringe of the crowd and sold his latest 
" scandal, ' along with " three bits o' strae " 
for a penny, or " a complete box o' ' brim- 
steene matches ' " at the same low figure. 
Blin Bob's peregrinations pretty well took 
him all over the town, however. For the 
benefit of the present generations I may 
explain that " brimsteene " matches were 
what was known as sulphur matches, and 
were made up in round wooden boxes with a 
pull-off lid, containing something like a 
hundred of these vile-smelling (when lighted) 
" spunks." Bob had a wonderful knowledge 
of the geography of the town, when one takes 
into account his blindness, and his principal 
stock-in-trade consisted of boot and shoe 
laces, and stay laces. The " scandals " he 
" gave away " with the three bits of straw or 
wood which he sold for a penny were, as a 
rule, unreliable bits of local information, and 
were generally concocted by some wag who 
got copies printed and sent Bob^ out on a 
pilgrimage to sell them. Robert Macinlay, 
Bob's full name, was about the last of our 
Aberdeen " street " worthies. He died in 
the Royal Infirmary, I think, where, it was 
said, he on one occasion lay in a trance for 
several days. Whether there was any truth 
in the assertion I am not in a position to 
say, but in his later years, ere he was laid 
aside from active duty, he was wont to relate 
his experiences of tranceland. 

Yet one other Castlegate worthy was 
" Dr." SwafHden, who had a shop in Maris- 
chal Street, a thoroughfare long famous for 
" quack " doctors. Dr. Swaffiden belonged 
to the " herb " school. He was a most fluent 
speaker, and used to gather round him huge 
crowds beside the Cross House. He had a 
Henry Ward Beecher look about him. His 



Brown's Book-Stall. 



face was clean-shaved, and his long, white 
hair clustered round the collar of his coat in 
patriarchal style. He generally wore a pair 
of light-grey trousers, a white waistcoat, and 
a long frock coat unbuttoned. His head 
was surmounted by a silk hat, and he had an 
all-round rather gentlemanly appearance. If 
I recollect aright, he claimed the skill and 
ability to cure consumption in all stages of 
the disease. Whether he ever was able to 
prove his claim I know not, but he did 
rattling good business in pills and mixtures, 
and, by his fluency of speech, was certainly 
able to make his audiences go away under 
the belief that black was white in the matter 
of diseases affecting the human body. I 
remember it was one of his chief boasts 
that if he were a fraud in any sense of the 
word, was it likely that he v.'ould come and 
settle down among the citizens of Aberdeen 
as one of themselves ! He invariably clinched 
that argument by offering free advice and 
medicines in order to prove that what he 
said was true beyond doubt. But Dr. 
SwafBden, too, has gone the way of all flesh, 
and a cure for consumption has not yet been 
discovered. These were the days when the 
old Town House stood on part of the site of 
the present Municipal Buildings, and the 
Police Commissioners' Office was in St. 
Nicholas Street, next door to the City Flour 
Mills in Flourmill Brae, then tenanted, if not 
occupied, by Mr. Jonathan Mess. The 
Record Office stood at the corner of the 
Port or Justice Street, on part of the ground 
now occupied by the Salvation Army Citadel ; 
and " Piggie " Fraser's world-renowned china 
shop was where Macandrew's Saloon Bar now 
stands. That's not to-day nor yesterday ! 

Speaking of the old Town House recalls 
the vast change that has taken place on that 
side of the Castlegate and Union Street. 
Huxter Row ran parallel to Union Street 
and Castle Street on the North side, entering 
from Broad Street and leading up to the 
Town House, where the Town Sergeants were 
wont to promenade on the pavement in front 
of the civic building. Messrs. Chasser and 
Watson were the two sergeants I knew best 
by sight. The former, with his clean shaven 
chin and upper lip and bushy side whiskers, 



was an imposing figure in his red coat. Mr. 
Watson was rather a spare man, with a 
mirky, good-tempered face and a merry 
twinkle in his bright eyes. I think I have 
before mentioned that my apprentice master 
was a fine tenor singer, who was much sought 
after at public functions, where his lovely 
voice and cultured style of singing ballads 
made him an undoubtedly great favourite 
with those who patronised social gatherings. 
I remember one occasion— I think it was a 
Royal Tradesmen's dinner in the old Royal 
Hotel, at which Mr. Hughes was a welcome 
guest. The dinner doubtless had been in 
Mr. Robertson's (mine hosts) best style, and 
I have no reason to suppose but that the 
liquors had been of the choicest. They did 
these things in tip-top style in the sixties, 
you must know. Anyway, there had been a 
sprinkling of the Magistrates present, and on 
these occasions, of course, the Town Ser- 
geants accompanied the Bailies. The 
meeting had been a happy one, and at the 
wee short oor ayont the twaP — for special 
licences were then undreamt of — the com- 
pany broke up and each member 

" Homeward plod his weary way." 

Before ten o'clock that morning Mr. 
Chasser put in appearance at Mr. Hughes's 
shop in Broad Street, wearing a silk hat 
jauntily, as he himself put it, " on three 
hairs." An exchange of hats had taken 
place, and I can imagine the picture suave 
and gentlemanly Mr. Hughes had made 
wearing Mr. Chasser's broad-brimmed, capa- 
cious beaver, which was big enough to come 
right down over Mr. Hughes's ears. 

The Fiscal's office was also located in 
Huxter Row ; and it seems like yesterday to 
me the recollection of two or three bobbies 
got up in their oil-skin tall hats, patrolling in 
front of the then Police-Office. Mr. Duthie 
was the then superintendent of police. But 
these and many other things had better be 
left to a future paper. 

Frank Clements. 



BROWN'S for BIBLES. 

83-uNioN sTREET-85. 




We have just got in a Selection of Beautiful Articles in 

a New and Beautiful Ware from the Foley Potteries in 
Staffordshire. You can get some idea from the 
accompanying illustrations of the artistic and novel 
shapes, and also of the designs to some extent, 
but to get any idea of the lovely colouring 
you have to see the goods themselves. 

In a very appreciative 
article on "Intarsio" Ware 
which appears in The Artist 
for November, the writer 
attempts to describe the 







~m 





colours of the decorations, but such attempts fall far 
short of the real thing. The articles are both orna- 
mental and useful, consisting of 

FLOWER VASES, Large and Small. . . . 
BOWLS for POT POURRI or FLOWERS. 
COFFEE POTS. FLOWER POTS. . . . 
JARS. JUGS. CLOCKSTANDS, &Pc, 

All forming Articles suitable for Wedding 
Presents or Christmas Presents. 
Call early and admire, 



even if you do not buy. 

♦ 

of. "BROWN & CO.. 







83 Union Street, 




X 



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Zfycp Ifyavc ^aii\ 

QBfat gap %%*% ? 

OR 

©eecrtpftone of cEfieroeen <xrt> tfe jfofft. 

1295— 1898. 

*^^ H E power " to see ourselves as 
others see us" is a most desir- 
able and useful acquisition, 
and the following sketches, 
gathered from a variety of 
sources, will, it is hoped, not 
only prove interesting, but also convey some 
clear conception of the marvellous growth 
and change that has been the fate of our 
good city of u Bon-Accord " since the visit of 
Edward I. some six centuries ago. 

Something in this line has already been 
done for Scotland generally in the two 
volumes edited by G. P. Hume Brown, 
LL.D., "Early Travellers in Scotland," and 
" Scotland before 1700," from which several 
of the descriptions have been taken. 

The extracts, which are to be continued 
from time to time as opportunity occurs, will 
appear as near as possible in chronological 
order. The collection embodies many in- 
teresting glimpses of a state of things long 
gone by, and throws light on many obscure 
points of local historv not otherwise obtain- 
able. A. M. M. 



[The first of the descriptions of Aberdeen is taken 
from " The Voyage of Kynge Edwarde into Scot- 
land with all his Lodgyngs Bryefly Expressed." This 
account is from manuscripts by an unknown author, 
now in the possession of the British Museum. The 
occasion of this expedition was the first conquest of 
Scotland, when Edward, in receiving Baliol's message 
renouncing his homage, exclaimed, " I las the felon 
fool done such folly? If he will not come to us, we 
will go to him."] 

14th 20th JULY, I 295. 

"The Saturday to the cyte of Dabberden, 
a faire castell and a good towne upon the 



see, and taried ther v. daies ; and thedar was 
brought the Kynge's enemy, Syr Thomas 
Worhne [Warham], Sir Hugh Saint John did 
take and xij with hym. The Fridaie after 
wente to Kyntorn [Kintore] manner ; the 
Saturdaie to Fyuin [Fyvie] Castell." 

II. 

[From " The Chronicle of John Hardyng in Metre 
from the first Begynnyng of Englande unto the reigne 
of Edward the Fourth." The presence of Hardyng 
in Scotland was on account of a mission entrusted to 
him by Henry V. and Henry VI. to examine the 
writs affecting the vexed question of the claim of 
Superiority advanced by England over Scotland. He 
was some three and a half years in Scotland, probably 
early in the reign of the fifth Henry, but his chronicle 
was written in his old age and presented by him to 
Edward IV.] 

CIRCA 1420. 

"And so through the Meernes to Cowy as I 

wene, 
Then xii. myles of moore passe to Aberdyne, 
Betwyxt Dee and Done a goodly cytee, 
A marchaunt toune and universytee. 

Of the whych waye xxx. myles there is 
Of good corn lande, and xx. large extente, 
Full of catell and other goodes I wysse, 
As to moore land and heth dothe wele 

appente,* 
From Brichan cytee to the orient, 
Where doothe stande upon the see, 
A goodly porte and haven for your navye." 

III. 

[William Dunbar, one of the greatest of our old 
" makaris '' was, it is believed, an eye witness of the 
reception accorded by the citizens to Margaret, the 
queen of James IV., and recorded his impression of 
the welcome in the poem "The Queenis Progres 
at Aberdene," from which the euloguim of the city is 
taken.] 

May, 1511. 

"Blithe Aberdeen, thou beriallf of all tounis, 
The lamp of beauty, bounty, and blithe- 
ness ; 

Unto the heaven ascendit thy renown is, 
Of virtue, wisdom, and of worthiness ; 



*Suit. 



I Brightest, 



Brown's Book-Stall. 



Hie noted is thy name of nobleness, 
Into the coming of our lusty Queen, 

The wale of wealth, guid cheer, and merri- 
ness : 
Be blithe and blissful, burgh of Aberdeen." 

IV. 

[John Major, 1470- 1550. Horn in East Lothian 
and educated in Paris. The extract given is from his 
" History of Greater Britain, both England and 
Scotland," published at Paris in 1521. His work is 
unique as being the earliest attempt at a critical 
history, and also as being the first history of Scotland 
to appear in print. An edition was recently published 
by the Scottish History Society.] 

1521. 

" Near to Aberdeen is the Alps of Scot- 
land, vulgarly called the Mounth of Scotland, 
which formerly separated the Scots from the 
Picts. These mountains are impassable by 
horsemen. Round about the foot of the 
mountains are great woods. There I incline 
to think was the Caledonian Forest of which 
Ptolemy and the Roman writers make men- 
tion, and in these woods is found an in- 
credible number of stags and hinds. At that 
time Aberdeen was the seat of the Scottish 
monarchy, though the kings of the Scots 
were crowned at Scone." 

V. 

[Hector Boece, 1465- 1536. His History of Scot- 
land from which this extract is taken was published in 
1527, but unfortunately Boece's "imagination was 
stronger than his judgment," and the value of the 
history has suffered accordingly. His position as first 
Principal of King's College would have led us to 
expect a. more extended notice than he gives.] 

I5 2 7- 

" Under Buchquhane lyis Mar : ane plent- 
uus region in store of bestiall, lx. miles in 
lenth and breid, fra the Almane seis to 
Badyenoch. In it is the ciete of Abirdene, 
the bischoppis seit ; with generall Universite, 
flurising in all science ; and wes fotmdit be 
nobill Bischop William Elphinstoun, with 
ane riche and magnificent college. This 
ciete lyis betwix tuo riche rivers Done and 
Dee ; in quhilkis ar mair fouth of salmond 
than in ony part of Albioun." 



VI. 

[After the battle of Pinkie on 10th September, 
1547, Henry II. of France sent a force into Scotland 
under the leadership of Andre de Montalembert. He 
was accompanied by his friend, Jean de Beaugue, who 
afterwards published an account of the war under the 
title of " Historie de la Guere d'Ecosse pendant les 
Campagnes, 1548 et 1549." An edition was published 
at Paris in 1556, and the first English edition in 1707.] 

1548— '49- 
" Aberdeen is a rich and handsome town, 
inhabited by an excellent people, and is 
situated on the seashore. It has not a good 
roadstead, but its harbour is very safe and 
easy for ships to make were it not for the 
entrance, which is narrow. It is easy to 
fortify since it is shut in on two sides by the 
rivers Don and Dee, both of which are 
difficult to ford. On the other side it has an 
open and extensive plain, in which bulwarks 
and defences could be raised to prevent 
injury from any battery that might be built on 
a hill which rises on the side of the bridge. 
At very little expense a citadel could be 
raised which might command both the har- 
bour and the whole town. Aberdeen has an 
Episcopal See and a University sufficiently 
well ordered and equipped." 

VII. 

[Paolo Giovio, 1483- 1 552. Paulus Jovuis, to give 
him his Latin name, was born at Como, and is known 
as one of Italy's noted historians. He died at 
Florence in 1552. The extract given below is t .ken 
from his most important work " Historiarum sui 
temporis."] 

" Next comes Mar, which extends to the 
boundaries of the island, notable for one city 
especially, Aberdeen, which situated on the 
Dee and Don is frequented by great numbers 
of people from all nations on account of its 
seat of learning, and a most commodious 
harbour. Nor should I consider as least 
important that it produced Boece, the 
Scottish historian." 

VIII. 

[Bishop John Leslie, 1 527- 1 596, came of the 
Balquhain family ; he studied at King's College : was 
a firm adherent of Mary, and became Bishop of Ross. 
His history, published at Rome in 1578, has the fault 






Brown*s Book-Stall. 



of following in some things too closely the fabulous 
stories of Boece. 1 lis local connection enabled him 
to speak to the state of Aberdeen in his day. ] 

1578- 
" In Marr lyes Abirdine, a famous citie, in 
a maner in tua partes diuidet, to wit, in ane 
aide toune and ane new toune, and betuene 
the tua a field put, bot on that syd quhair 
foundet ar the Bischopis Cathedral, the 
Channounis honorable houses, the almons 
house or Hospital of the pure, and that 
ancient Academie and Vniuersitie of renoune 
is mekle mair illustre, and beutiful to behalde: 
than the other, quhais decore cheiflie does 
consiste in Nobilitie of gentlemen, and 
merchandes, and deidis of ciuilitie : baith 
the partes of the citie enioyes the tua riueris 
Die and Don alyke, with a schip read or 
hartsum hauining place, togither with grene 
cnowis upon the seyside. This notwithstand- 
eng, peculiar or proper, hes thir tua riueris, 
that lichtlie thay excel the rest of the fiudes 
and riueris in Albion in thir thrie things ; in 
plentie of Salmonte, plentie I say, Gretnes 
and Gudness. We knawe sa weil that 
nathing better in the Water of Die at 
Abirdin of gret Salmont after [oftener] than 
ance to have been take at ane draucht ccc." 

IX. 

[George Buchanan, 1506- 1582. His History of 
Scotland, from which this extract is taken, was the 
last work accomplished by hiin, as he died the same 
year as it was published. The materials for the work 
had been largely prepared beforehand, however, some 
of it nearly twenty years before the date of publication.] 

1582. 

" Beyond the Mearns, toward the north, is 
the mouth of the river Deva, commonly 
called Dee ; and not quite a mile beyond the 
Dee is the river J Jon. Upon the one stands 
Abredonia, famous for its salmon fishery, 
and upon the other are the Episcopal See 
and tuo flourishing Universities. This last 
I find in old records styled Abredea, but 
both places have the common appellation 
Aberdeen, and are distinguished from each 
other by the epithets old and new. At a 
little distance, between these rivers, the 
county of Mar begins." 



X. 

I |ohn Johnston, i570?-i6i2, was born near Aber- 
deen about 1570 and is said to have been connected 
with the Johnstons of Crimond. His education was 
received at King's College and at several Continental 
universities, and on his return to this country he was 
appointed Professor of Divinity at St. Andrews. 
Among his poetical works he wrote epigrams on the 
principal towns inserted in Camden's Britannia, 
from which the extract is taken.] 

1603. 

" See to the north where lofty hills surround 

A sister-goddess holds her stately seat ; 
Kind Phoebus moderates the air around, 
Nor piercing cold prevails nor scorching 
heat. 
Old ocean hither rolls his fruitful tide, 

With fishy rivers and the pearly stone, 
While frankness, mirth, and plenty here pre- 
side 
And grateful guests behaviour decent own. 
Antient nobility whose best support 

Is antient wealth, and inbred valour here 
Prevail : here Justice holds her righteous 
court, 
Honour and Arts in rivalry appear. 
All to this city yield ; no art can paint 
Her honours due ; inventions stroke is 
faint." 

XL 

[Thomas Dempster, i579?-i625. was born in 
Aberdeenshire about 1579, and received his education 
at Aberdeen, Douay, and Paris. On his mother's 
side he was connected with the Balquhain Leslies. 
Dempster ultimately became Professor of Humanities 
at l>ologna, and died there in 1625. He was the 
author of several works and also of some Latin 
poems.] 

1609. 

" Where trade prospers and where learning 
Has its chief shrine, .and where twin 
Aberdeen raises her twin towers, a city 
Second neither to Massilia nor Athens." 

XII. 

[William Barclay, M.D. i57o?-i630? was a brother 
of Sir Patrick Barclay of Towie, and studied at 
Lou vain, where he took his degrees. Barclay was at 
onetime Professor of Humanity at Paris University, 
but was evidently practising his profession in this 
country when he wrote " Callirhoe, commonly called 
The Well of Spa, or the Nymph of Aberdene," from 
which the extract is taken. Another well-known 



Brown's Book-Stall. 



tract of his, " Nepenthes, or the Vertues of Tobacco," 
was printed at Edinburgh in 1 6 14, and Callirhoe in 
1615.] 

1615. 
" But leaving these High-land diseases to 
their impostors, and barbarous leeches, I 
returne to our low and civil parts : where the 
inhabitants being more delicatly trained up, 
as subject to greater diseases, the situation of 
the soyle being toward the North, and lying 
open to the East : the ground which they 
labour must be cold and moyst : the diseases 
of their Bodies, Catarrhes, Gravels, Diar- 
rhaees, Guts, Colickes, Apoplexies, Paralysies, 
and such lyke ; and because the winds are 
boisterous and cold, the maladies of their minds 
are much worse than the diseases of their 
Bodies, Pride, Anger, Hatred, Envie, Cruelty, 
Inhumanite, Inconstancie : neither will I 
proceed farder in this matter, reserving with- 
out flatterie the true commendation of 
Aberdene, whose inhabitants beyond the 
nature of their soyle, and in spight of v4iolvs 
and all his winds, do so civilize their Burgh, 
with the continual practise of Vertue and 
Learning, and so replenish their hearts with 
courteous behaviour, that if their soyle were 



not more barren and barbarous than their 
souls, even a French man himself might judge 
Aberdene to be the Lutetiola or litle Paris of 
this Septentrional corner of North Britanne" 

XIII. 

[David Wedderburn, 1580- 1646, was the eldest son 
of William Wedderburn, burgess of Aberdeen ; 
received his education at Marischal College, and in 
1602 was appointed conjunct master of the Grammar 
School. In virtue of an allowance from the Magis- 
trates he taught certain classes in Marischal College, 
and also acted as Poet-Laurate to his native burgh, 
and in this later capacity he composed two poems on 
the occasion of James VI. visit to Scotland in 1617, 
one of which was entitled, " Propempticon Caritatum 
Abredonensium. "] 

1617. 

" But Aberdeen is more sad than the other 
sisters because she experienced beyond the 
others the full strength of your love, which, if 
she cherish not, may she be dishonoured, 
and may the good name acquired by her 
lavish hospitality perish for ever ; even though 
Aberdeen, called of old in the time of 
Ptolemy Devana (I)ea from Deva, appar- 
ently), is proved to have existed for 1500 
years." 



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10 



Brown's Buuk-StalL. 



A PICTURESQUE DOORWAY. 



^>VV¥^E are pleased to be able, through the 
^\t?JT kindness of the editor of The Scots 



Pictorial, to present our readers with 
an illustration which represents one of 
the few remaining artistic "bits" still left con- 
necting- the present with the past of our good city. 
What between public improvements, rebuilding of 
dwelling houses, and the erection of new business 
premises in the cast end of the city, little will be 
left to us of the older buildings which, in the past, 
have delighted both the artist and the antiquary. 
The old house, now known as the Victoria 
Lodging House, in the Guestrow, has more than 
a common share in the living interest which clings 
to old houses from the association of former 
occupants. The older portion of the house was 
built about 1570, and about a century later it was 
acquired by Sir George Skene of Fintray and 
Rubislaw as a town house. The Guestrow, it 
must be remembered, was then one of the fashion- 
able streets of the town, and contained the 
residences of many country families. Sir George, 
who was provost of Aberdeen from 1676 to 1685. 
rebuilt the greater part of the house, including 



the doorway, which, as will be seen from the 
sketch, is very elaborately decorated with fruit 
and flowers, displayed in garland fashion. 
Above the door, in a compartment let in to the 
tower, is the knight's armorial coat, showing a 
chevron between three skeins, surmounted by 
as many wolves' heads, with the motto "Gratis 
A Deo Data." Towards the close of the historic 
'45, when the unfortunate troops of " Prince 
Charlie " were being driven northwards before 
the royal forces, the Duke of Cumberland arrived 
in the city on 27th February, 1746, and was con- 
ducted with great ceremony to his lodgings in 
the old provost's house, then the property of Mr. 
Thomson of Portlethen. For six weeks the 
future victor of Culloden resided here, entertaining 
the citizens and preparing for the final blow 
delivered at Drummossie Moor. 

Since then several generations have passed 
through the doorway, many of whom have played 
a not insignificant part in furthering the progress 
and development of "Bon-Accord," and to-day, 
through the portals of the provost's mansion, the 
homeless poor still enter to enjoy the comforts of 
rest and lodgings, so far as such can be obtained 
in a model lodging-house. 



The Illustrated Paper of Scotland. 



The Scots Pictorial 



PUBLISHED ON THE 15th OF EACH MONTH. 
PRICE SIXPENCE. 



The November issue, containing a Special Illustrated Supplement, "THE 
CITY OF GRANITE," With Full Page Portrait of LORD PROVOST 
FLEMING, can still be had at all Newsagents, and Booksellers* 

The issue on December 15 will be 

A Special Christmas \\umbep, 

With Two Presentation Plates printed in Colours, and Nnmcrous Seasonable Features. 



ORDER AT ONCE OP YOUR NEWSAGENT. 



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1 2 



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CONCERNING MANY THINGS. 

[ The Editorial fiat having gone forth that we were 
to discourse, as occasion demanded, on books to 
read and things to buy, more particularly — but 
this is between ourselves — those which are to be 
had at the greatest shop on earth (in what 
respect we dare not specify), and, further, the 
orthodox book review be nig a thing utterly tin fit ted 
for a New Century, we have decided, without 
permission, to confide personally in our readers 
by telling them individually in these " Answers" 
such things as it is 7vell that they should know.] 



Constant Reader (Hardy Annual that thou art, 
your name does credit to your constitution !) — Yes, 
we know Neil Munro, and we have read " Gilean 
the Dreamer." Concerning the former, he is a Scots- 
man with his heart in the Highlands, having been 
born in the north, Gaelic and poor. Five years at 
the Village School sufficed for his education, but it 
was followed by ten years of hard newspaper work, 
which probably did him far more practical good. 
His experience of newspapers is varied, he having 
contributed to each of the Glasgow A r ews, the Speaker, 
the National Observer, and the Globe, as well as to 
that best of all monthlies, Blackwood's. One day Mr. 
Henley wanted something to do, so he discovered 
Neil Munro, and most people are even more grateful 
to him for this than for his famous "Burns." Mr. 
Munro's first big hit — and it was a " boundary " — 
was with "John Splendid," a capital and thrilling 
volume. As in ■* Scott's Legend of Montrose," one 
of the principal incidents in the tale is a description 
of the Battle of Inverlochy, but in "John Splendid" 
the description is from the Whig standpoint. It is a 
volume which had, and still has, a big sale, and those 
who haven't read it have a good thing in store. 
******** 

Mr. Munro's latest success is " Gilean the Dreamer." 
In a way it is his most literary and most finished 
production, remarkable more for its characterisation 
than its strength of plot. Whether, however, it will 
be as successful, or what, from a financial point of 
view at least, is much the same thing, as popular as 
"John Splendid," we dare not say. There is no 
flashing of swords, no bloodshed, only a stagey sort 
of shipwreck and an elopement which failed. In fact 



there is just a little too much of the dreamer in 
Gilean to suit the Jingo atmosphere of the moment ; 
if the truth must be told, occasionally he worries us. 
But, on the other hand, the book deserves immortality 
if only for those brilliant portraits of the brothers — 
the General, the " Kornal," and the Paymaster and 
their sister Mary, as genuine a Scotch quartet as will 
be found in the pages of contemporary fiction. In 
short, though Mr. Munro's other books may have been 
more popular for the moment, there is work in 
"Gilean the Dreamer" which places it high above 
them all. 



Gay Adventurer. — A book for a winter's even- 
ing did you say? Why, certainly. You can't beat 
" Phroso." It is Mr. Hope's best, and that means a 
lot, while it is both highly exciting and decidedly 
humorous, a combination of merits but seldom seen. 
" Phroso " is worth a dozen ordinary novels, though 
it has one drawback — you generally retire from the 
reading of it as Anna Maria is bringing up your 
shaving water. 



A Mere Boy. — Interested in Foreign Stamps are 
you ? We confess to a pardonable weakness that way 
ourselves, and extend the right hand of sympathy to 
you, for, as you say, " forges " and reprints are 
thick as leaves in Vallombrosa or Albyn 
Place. Therefore it behoves you to get a good 
Catalogue, and that of Messrs. Whitfield King & Coy. 
can't be beaten. The man who compiled it deserves 
a monument, for he has some sympathy with the lay 
collector, and disregards most of those perplexing 
varieties of perforation and water-mark that in time 
would land the most sober-minded philatelist in 
Elmhill. The Catalogue only costs 1/3, and 
A. B. & Coy. will get you one if you speak to them 
kindly. At the same time you might have a look at 
some of their packets. They supply them at all 
prices, from a penny upwards. 



John Splendid by Neil Munro, 
Gilean the Dreamer ,, 
Phroso by Anthony Hope, - 



May be had at 4/6 each for cash from 

A. BROWN & CO., 

83 and 85 Union Street, ABERDEEN. 



Brown's Book-Stall. 



OUR EDITOR AND HIS DIARIES. 



BY THE PUBLISHER. 



•>;$<*■ 




U R editor reminds us 
occasionally that his salary 
is not so large as it ought 
to be, which, from his point 
of view, may be very true, 
as he is a man of large 
ideas. But then to counter- 
balance this deficiency he 
gets many perquisites- 
one of which, for instance, is his diary. Every 
year we are in the habit of presenting- him with a 
copy of one of Waterston's Diaries, not a fiddl 
ing little one you know, but a handsome Office 
Diary, nicely bound in green cloth, which would 
cost him 5/6 in any shop in the town. It is inter- 
leaved with blotting paper with two days on the 
page, which gives him ample room to jot all sort 
of things ; and he can put a lot in little space, for 
as our comps. know to their cost, he writes a 
most microscopic hand. 

Well, when we got in our stock the other day, 
we sent him his diary with our compliments as 
usual. Next day, on his way down town about 
high meridian, he strolled in to the " Bookstall " 
and remarked, casually, " Oh, by the bye, I g'ot 
your diary all right." We expressed a hope that 
he would make a good use of it. "I always do," 
he replied, " but there are often good ideas which 
strike me when I am away from home, can't you 
give me a pocket one so that I may take a note 
of them at once and save them from being lost." 
We asked what sort he would like, to which he 
promptly replied, " One of Waterston's." He 
knows a good thing, does our Editor ! We 
thought of the good ideas that would be lost to 
the world if we did not give him this other diary. 
We took him over to the diary counter to choose 
one. Modesty is not his strong point, and instead 
of choosing a Crown Diary at Sixpence he 
selected a Waterston Pocket Diary in a nice 
French Morocco case of the pocket book style 
with four pockets. This we may remark would 
have cost him another 5/6 had he bought 
it ; and would have been well worth it. How- 



ever, we thought of his small salary, and 
merely remarked upon the fineness of the weather. 
"Ah, that reminds me," he exclaimed, " that I've 
been wanting a scroll diary to keep a record of 
my gardening operations." This hint was broad- 
er than his acres, but the thought of his large 
family arose, and we were willing to do anything 
in reason to help him to raise prize cabbages for 
their sustenance. This time, however, we did not 
give him his choice, but handed him a Folio 
Diary in a stout cover costing the moderate sum 
of eighteenpence. Three days on a page ought 
to hold all his horticultural operations, and as 
there are money columns, he can keep a vegetable 
account. Thinking any further remark of ours 
might suggest another want to him, we said 
simply "Goodbye." We are always glad to see our 
Editor's face, on this occasion we were glad to 
see his back. In case of any mistake, we may 
mention to our friends that we are giving away 
no more gratis diaries this season, but will be 
glad to sell any number. If you want good quality 
try Waterston's. If you have already tried 
them you will use no other. There are none better. 
N.B — Call early and get the pick. 

THE FASHION OF THIS WORLD 

Passeth away, and so does that of the world 
of literature. A few short years ago the shilling 
novel held the field, after that the six shilling 
novel boomed, then the pendulum swung back 
to the sixpenny novel, which we surmise has 
seen its best days, and what will be the next 
fashionable form in which to take your literature 
remains to be seen. 

The causes of the decay of these various 
styles may be various, but one thing which 
helped to kill the shilling novel was the fact that 
after the appearance of a really good and success- 
ful story the public was deluged with a drench 
of shilling shockers having nothing in common 
with their prototype but the price. A similar 
canker began to gnaw at the success of the six 
shilling novel. Publishers finding that six 
shillings was the popular price took in the long- 



14 



Brown's Book-Stall. 



suffering British Public by giving them in some 
cases about one shilling's worth of literature 
printed in large type on thick paper with generous 
margins, and bound up in the style of and sold at 
the same price as the genuine good value 
6 - novel. 

Notwithstanding, however, that books in these 
forms are not so fashionable as they were, they 
had much to recommend them, and a good story 
giving- good value tor the money, either in the 
1 - or the 6/- form, will be pretty sure to get a 
favourable reception from the public. 

These reflection were suggested by the per- 
usal of a story just issued by Messrs. Lawrence 
& Bullen at one shilling which has all the elements 
of success. It is entitled " The Black Card," 
and is well got up both inside and outside. Being 
adorned outwardly with a very effective cover 
and inwardly with a very good story, with which 
you might either while away a railway journey 
or enjoy in your easy chair before the fire of 
a winter evening. It is of the sensational style, 
the working out of t